© 2004

Robert Louis Stevenson

A Literary Life

  • Authors

Part of the Literary Lives book series (LL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. William Gray
    Pages 1-22
  3. William Gray
    Pages 23-48
  4. William Gray
    Pages 49-75
  5. William Gray
    Pages 76-109
  6. William Gray
    Pages 110-161
  7. William Gray
    Pages 162-170
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 171-190

About this book


More than most writers, Robert Louis Stevenson requires a Literary Life. Fascination with Stevenson's life (the 'Stevenson biography' is almost a minor genre) has tended to eclipse his literary achievement. This study focuses on Stevenson's writing practice within the different geographical, cultural and political contexts that shaped it, from Scotland to the South Seas. Following Stevenson's own views on biography, the book is not structured primarily in terms of chronology, but is more a kind of literary geography than traditional literary history.


America biography chronology English French genre history history of literature knowledge Robert Louis Stevenson Scotland structure tradition writing

About the authors

WILLIAM GRAY is Professor of Literary History and Hermeneutics at the University of Chichester, UK. He studied literature, philosophy and theology at the Universities of Oxford, Edinburgh and Princeton, and has published widely in these areas, including Death and Fantasy and books on C.S. Lewis and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Bibliographic information


'A new book... mapping the bohemian life of Robert Louis Stevenson looks at the cocaine-fuelled convalescence that produced Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and a whole lot more besides.' - Phil Hewitt - Chichester Observer

'Gray's close reading is meticulous and intelligent so there's a sense that we're engaging with the real texture of Stevenson's life and work.' - The Scotsman

'With admirable economy, Gray delineates Stevenson's engagements with different literary cultures and traditions - he is especially good on the fertilizing effects of French literature on Stevenson's imagination - and then lays out the varied fruits of those engagements: essays, poems, letters, travelogues, plays, and prose fiction' - Stephen Arata, Victorian Studies 48 (Spring 2006)