Robert Louis Stevenson Reconsidered

New Critical Perspectives


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About the Book

Critical interest in Robert Louis Stevenson has never been greater. New editions of the author’s works—from the poems to the travel writing, from the Scottish novels to the South Seas tales—are appearing. During the year 2000, the sesquicentennial of RLS’s birth, three conferences were held in honor of the occasion and each entertained an international audience.
This collection of essays reflects the scope of Robert Louis Stevenson’s achievement and the range of current critical response. The first section contains four critical overviews that include an analysis of the Stevensonian imagination, an assessment of the author’s literary theory, an examination of the coded significance of burial and reanimation in Stevenson’s Wrong Box and other works, and an examination of the use of both Scottish and South Seas islands in his fiction.
The second section contains three essays that examine the many-faceted Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Other works—An Inland Voyage, A Child’s Garden of Verses, The Dynamiter, The Master of Ballantrae, and Prayers Written at Vailima—are the subjects of the six essays in the third section. Three essays on biography, popular culture, and personal response are in the fourth section.

About the Author(s)

William B. Jones, Jr., is the author of Petit Jean: A Wilderness Adventure; the editor of Robert Louis Stevenson Reconsidered: New Critical Perspectives; and a contributor to The Oxford Handbook of Adaptation Studies and Icons of the American Comic Book. He has written introductions for more than 100 reissued titles in the revived Classics Illustrated and related series.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by William B. Jones, Jr.
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 262
Bibliographic Info: index
Copyright Date: 2003
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1399-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8099-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface     1


The Eyeball of the Dawn: Can We Trust Stevenson’s Imagination?      7

The Art of Writing and the Pleasure of Reading: Stevenson as Theorist and Popular Author    21

Reanimating Stevenson’s Corpus      37

Stevenson and Islands: Scotland and the South Pacific     68


Closer Than a Wife: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll’s Significant Other     85

The Hand of Hyde     101

Engineering Influences on Jekyll and Hyde     117


The Damned Thing in Boards and a Ticket on Its Behind: An Inland Voyage   127

A World Made for Liars: Stevenson’s Dynamiter and the Death of the Real    140

Scottish Gothic: Robert Louis Stevenson, The Master of Ballantrae, and The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner     163

Writing Towards Home: The Landscape of A Child’s Garden of Verses    174

Helter-Skeltery: Stevenson and Theatre      192

Prayers at Sunset     209


The Squire and the Gamekeeper: RLS and Miss Adelaide Boodle      215

Forty-Eight Pages and Speech Balloons: Robert Louis Stevenson in Classics Illustrated   228

Discovering Mr. Stevenson: A Personal Chronicle     238

Index     247