Robert Louis Stevenson: A Literary Life.
Robert Louis Stevenson: A Literary Life. William Gray. Palgrave.
[pounds sterling]16.99 p.b. xvi + 190 pages. ISBN 0-333-98401-3. This
new title in Palgrave's 'Literary Lives' series argues
that 'perhaps more than most writers ... Stevenson may require a
Literary Life'. Therefore this new study is 'in some respects
more of an exercise in literary geography than in literary history ...
its structure is defined by reference to the different geographical and
cultural contexts in which Stevenson lived and worked'. Having said
that Mr Gray does follow a basically chronological approach except that
he places Stevenson's life in Scotland in the centre of the book.
He argues that wherever Stevenson was, his Scottish identity lay
'at the very core of his being both as a man and as a writer'.
He begins, therefore, with the writer's life in the Empire's
literary centre, London. He quotes Stevenson whenever possible because
his underlying aim is to show that the author's prose is as
interesting to students of literature as his peripatetic life has been