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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 to biographers.
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Publication:Contemporary Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Oct 1, 2004
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