Printer Friendly

books: Bizarre life of a literary legend.

Byline: Julie Chamberlain

Louis: A Life of Robert Louis Stevenson by Philip Callow (Constable, pounds 20)

Stevenson's Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are great parts of British literary history.

But the bizarre life of the man behind these tales and many lesser-known writings makes a fine story in its own right.

Philip Callow, who grew up in Coventry, has written other biographies of greats, including Van Gogh and DH Lawrence, and now turns his attention towards the 19th century writer.

It's a highly-readable story, focusing on the fascinating details of Stevenson's own life and skimming over his literary influences and creations.

The contradictions are what makes his life so interesting. He was a man constantly travelling, yet also always battling illness, so much so that the captain of a boat he chartered made preparations to carry out a burial at sea.

Callow sticks up for Stevenson's often-maligned wife Fanny, 10 years older than him and who got a scandalous divorce so they could marry, and says her nursing care helped prolong his fragile life.

Stevenson might not be a fashionable author, but Callow has brought this great Victorian adventurer to life.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Coventry Newpapers
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Sep 1, 2001
Words:198
Previous Article:books: The real D-Day story.
Next Article:Car workers marvel at Thrust power; LAND SPEED RECORD-HOLDER SHOWN OFF AT CITY'S JAGUAR AND PEUGEOT PLANTS.


Related Articles
THE GARDEN OF JOYS AN ANTHOLOGY OF ORIENTAL ANECDOTES, FABLES AND PROVERBS.
Mirror M@ilbox: HERO HOMER.
Dreiser's 'Other Self'.
Buy.
Legends of blood; the vampire in history and myth.
Staying in: BOOK GROUP.
Hermetica: Myths, Legends, Poems.
Aboriginal artists share their gifts at literacy gala.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters