The Robert Louis Stevenson Archive



Biographies and biographical studies

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The ‘biography of Robert Louis Stevenson’ seems almost a minor literary genre in itself. Balfour’s 1901 work is a necessary starting-point as he had known Stevenson and was able to consult family and friends. Those by Furnas and Le Bris are not only well-written but also involve the reader in the author’s stubborn questioning of available evidence, questioning aimed at drawing some conclusions about the most probable version of events and their most plausible explanation. The work by Calder is also an essential reference for those interested in the life. Rankin’s work involves more the ‘questioning’ of Stevensonian places to illuminate the life and works as well as aspects of cultural and historical evolution. McLynn’s is anti-Osbourne but gives the fullest account of the Samoa period.

Thanks to Lachie Munro for help with this page.

TH = In Tom Hubbard (2008). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson’. In Tom Hubbard, Rikky Rooksby and Edward Wakeling (eds.) Lives of Victorian Literary Figures, Part VI: Carroll, Stevenson and Swinburne by their Contemporaries. 3 vols. Pickering & Chatto.

n.d.

Hubbard, Elbert (n.d.). Robert Louis Stevenson and Fanny Osbourne. New York: Hartford Lunch.

n.d.

Paxton Roland (****). A Series of Professional Aspects.
[about the Stevenson family]

n.d.

Vulcan, Jenny (n.d.). The Story of Robert Louis Stevenson. London: Stead’s Publishing House.

1887

Archer, W. Robert (1887). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson at “Skerryvore”‘. Critic (5 Nov.).

1887

Kirk, Sophia (1887). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson’. Atlantic Monthly 60 (Dec 1887) : 747-55. TH

1888

Barrie, J.M. (1888). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson’. British Weekly (2 Nov.). Repr. In An Edinburgh Eleven. Pencil Portraits from College Life. London/New York: J.A. Smith/Lovell, Coryell & Co. 1889. TH

1894

Jacobs, Joseph (1894). ‘Mr Robert Louis Stevenson’. The Athenaeum 22 (December 1894): 863-4.

1894

Osbourne, Lloyd (1894). ‘A Letter to Mr Stevenson’s Friends’. Apia, Samoa: privately printed.
[memoir of Stevenon’s death ]

1895

Balfour, Graham (1895). ‘***’. Scribner’s Magazine (18 October 1895) ***.
[probably an obituary memoir]

1895

Copeland, Charles Townsend (1895). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson’. Atlantic Monthly (April 1895). TH

1895

Lang, Andrew (1895). ‘The Late Mr. R. L. Stevenson’, Illustrated London News, 5 Jan. 1895.
--- ‘Robert Louis Stevenson’, Longman’s Magazine, Feb. 1895.
--- ‘Recollections of Robert Louis Stevenson’, North American Review, Feb. 1895. Repr. In Adventures Among Books. London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1905.
[‘I have known no man in whom the pre-eminently manly virtues of kindness, courage, sympathy, generosity, helpfulness, were more beautifully conspicuous than in Mr. Stevenson, none so much loved--it is not too strong a word--by so many and so various people.’]

1895

Osbourne, Lloyd (1895). ‘Mr. Stevenson’s Home Life at Vailima’. Scribner’s Magazine (October 1895) 18(4).

1896

Barrie, J.M. (1896). In Margarte Ogilvie. London: Hodder & Stoughton.

1896

Strong, Isobel (1896). ‘Vailima Table-Talk. Robert Louis Stevenson in his Home Life’. Scribner’s Magazine (May, June 1896) 19 (5, 6): 531-549, 736-748.
[Available in the ‘Making of America‘ collection. Included in Memories of Vailima (1902, pp. 7-74), without the illustrations.]

1896

Shipman, L.E. (1896). ‘Stevenson’s First Landing in New York’. Book Buyer (Feb.).

1898

Black, Margaret Moyes (1898). Robert Louis Stevenson. Edinburgh: Oliphant Anderson & Ferrier

1898

Burgess, Gelett. (1989). ‘An Interview with Mrs Robert Louis Stevenson’. Bookman (New York) (Sept.). Th

1898

Simpson, Eve Blantyre (1898). Robert Louis Stevenson’s Edinburgh Days. London: Hodder & Stoughton.

Eve Blantyre Simpson also published her reminiscences in ‘R.L.S. – Some Edinburgh Notes’ in The Chap-Book Vol. 2 No. 8 (?year?), pp. 331-340.

1899

Balfour, J. and M.C. Balfour (1899). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson by Two of His Cousins’. English Illustrated Magazine May 1899, pp. 121-131. TH

1899

Cornford, L[eslie] Cope (1899). Robert Louis Stevenson. Edinburgh/London: Blackwood (also New York: Dodd, Mead, 1900).
[acknowledges ‘the help which Mr Henley has given me in the making of this essay towards a just appreciation of his old comrade.’]

1899

Gosse, Edmund (1899). ‘Stevenson’s Relations with Children’. Chambers Journal 6th ser. No. 81, vol. 2 (July 1899), pp. 449-451.

1899

Strong, Isobel Osbourne (1899). ‘Stevenson in Samoa’. The Century (July 1899). TH

1900

Anonymous (1900). ‘Stevenson Unwhitewashed’. Atlantic Monthly (March 1900).

1900

Colvin, Sidney (1900). ‘Stevenson’s Beginnings’. The Academy (10 March 1900): 7.

1900

Duncan, W.H. (1900). ‘Stevenson’s Second Visit to America’. Bookman (New York) (Jan.).

1900

Leighton, Robert (1900). ‘Stevenson’s Beginnings’. The Academy (3 March 1900): 189.

1900

Wallace, William (1900). ‘The Life and Limitations of Stevenson’. Scottish Review (January 1900).

1901

Baildon, H. Bellyse (1901). Robert Louis Stevenson. A Life Study in Criticism. London: Chatto & Windus.

1901

Bell, Howard Wilford (1901). ‘An Unpublished Chapter in the Life of Robert Louis Stevenson’, Pall Mall Magazine. TH

1901

Balfour Graham (1901). The Life of Robert Louis Stevenson. London: Methuen & Co.
[indispensable source]

1901

Henley, W. E. (1901). ‘R.L.S.’. Pall Mall Magazine (Dec 1901).

1916

Simpson, Eve Blantyre (1901). 'RLS's 'Hills of Home' . Chamber's Journal (1901).

1901

Vailings, H.(1901). ‘Stevenson Among the Philistines’. Temple Bar (Feb.).
[Stevenson at Davos.]

1902

Chesterton, G.K. (1902). Robert Louis Stevenson. London : Hodder & Stoughton.
[With many photographs. Distinct from the 1927 critical study by GKC with the same title. See also 1906]

1902

Chesterton, G.K. (1902). ‘Stevenson’. In Twelve Types. London: Arthur L. Humphreys.
[A review of H. Bellyse Baildon (1901). Robert Louis Stevenson: A Life Study in Criticism. London: Chatto & Windus.]

1902

Colvin, Sidney (1902). ‘Stevenson at Hampstead’. Hampstead Annual (Dec.).

1902

Strong, Isobel (1902). 'In Samoa with Stevenson'. Century (March 1902).

1902

Strong, Isobel & Lloyd Osbourne (1902). Memories of Vailima. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. (1903) London: Archibald Constable & Co
[the US edition is 228 pp. with 31 b&w photographs; the UK edition that I have seen is 151 pp and with only an engraved portrait frontispiece]

1902

Morse, Hiram G. [Hiram Gardner] (1902). Robert Louis Stevenson as I found him in his island home. [Brooklyn? N. Y. : H.G. Morse],

1902

Nicoll, W. Robertson [William Robertson] (1902). Robert Louis Stevenson. London : Hodder and Stoughton

1902

Wallace, William (1902). ‘Scotland, Stevenson, and Mr Henley’. New Liberal Review (February 1902).

1903

Stephen, Leslie (1903). Robert Louis Stevenson. New York/London: Putnam’s Sons.

1903

Stevenson, Margaret Isabella (ed. Marie Clothilde Balfour) (1903). From Saranac to the Marquesas and Beyond. London: Methuen.
[leters written to her sister Jane Whyte Balfour 1887-8]

1904

Sharp, William (1904). ‘The Country of Stevenson’. In The Selected Writings of William Sharp. Vol. IV: Literary Geography. London: Pall Mall Press. 20-33. On line at http://www.sundown.pair.com/Sharp/WSVol_4/stevenson.htm
[vivid description of Stevenson glimpsed at Waterloo Stattion; orig. pub. In Pall Mall Magazine in 1903 or 4]

1905

Hinkley, Laura (1950). The Stevensons: Louis and Fanny. New York: Hastings House.

1905

Japp, Alexander Hay (1905). Robert Louis Stevenson: A Record, An Estimate and a Memorial. London: Clifford’s Inn, T. Werner Laurie.

1905

Johnstone, Arthur (1905). Recollections of Robert Louis Stevenson in the Pacific. London: Chatto & Windus.

1905

Stevenson, Fanny Van de Grift (1905). Registration Prefaces to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Works. New York: Charles Scribner’s Son.
[These were then used as prefaces for the ‘Biographical Edition’ published by Scribner’s 1905-1911, and later included in the Tusitala, Skerryvore and South Seas Editions.]

1906

Chesterton, G.K. and William Robertson Nicholl (1906). Robert Louis Stevenson. *** : James Pott.
[This is listed in the Le Bris Herne volume on Stevenson. See also 1902]

1906

Simpson, Eve Blantyre (1906). Robert Louis Stevenson. Boston/London: John W. Luce & Co. [also found as: Edinburgh & London: T.N. Foulis] (Spirit of the Age Series, No. 2).

1906

Hubbard, Elbert (1906). Robert Louis Stevenson and Fanny Osbourne. East Aurora, N.Y.: Roycrofters

1906

Stevenson, Margaret Isabella (ed. & arranged by Marie Clothilde Balfour) (1906). Letters from Samoa: 1891-1895. New York: Charles Scribner’s & Sons.

1908

Clarke, William Edward (1908). Reminiscences of Robert Louis Stevenson. London: London Missionary Society

1908

Claxton, Arthur E. (1908). Stevenson As I Knew Him. London: London Missionary Society.

1908

Low, Will H. (1908). A Chronicle of Friendships, 1873-1900. London: Hodder & Stoughton.
[See also Low 1914]

1916

Anon. (1909). 'A Reminiscence of R.L.S by A Lantern-Bearer'. Chamber's Journal (1909).

1910

Hammerton, J. A. (1910). Stevensoniana. An anecdotal life and appreciation of Robert Louis Stevenson. Edinburgh: John Grant.

1910

Moors, Harry J. (1910). With Stevenson in Samoa. Boston/London: Small, Maynard & Co./ Collins
[memoir by Stevenson’s friend on Samoa; includes 47 photographs]

1911

Findlay, J. Patrick (1911). In the Footsteps of R.L.S. Edinburgh: W.P. Nimmo, Hay & Mitchell
[not an ‘in the footsteps’ account - short biography of 63 pp.]

1911

Osbourne, Katherine Durham (1911). Robert Louis Stevenson in California. Chicago: A.C. McClurge.
[The first issue was withdrawn because of unauthorized publication of some of Stevenson’s letters. With many photographs.]

1911

Strong, Isobel (1911). Robert Louis Stevenson. London: Cassell (Little Books on Great Writers)
[illustr.; designed for children]

1912

[Phillips, Le Roy, supposed author] (1912). Robert Louis Stevenson Memories. Edinburgh: T.N. Foulis.
[25 tipped-in photographic reproductions with brief facing text; many of them of Swanston]

1912

Chalmers, Stephen (1912). ‘The Penny Piper of Saranac’. The Outlook (12 Oct. 1912). Repr. As The Penny Piper of Saranac. An Episode in Stevenson’s Life. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1916.

1912

Simpson, Eve Blantyre (1912). The Robert Louis Stevenson Originals. Edinburgh: T. N. Foulis (New York: Scribner’s, 1913).

1913

Gosse, Edmund (1913). Critical Kit-Kats (‘Robert Louis Stevenson: Personal Memories’). London: Heinemann.

1913

Robert Louis Stevenson. The Man and his Work, Extra Number of The Bookman, 1913. London: Hodder & Stoughton.
[essays, recollections, appreciations; reissued with additional essays in 1924 as Robert Louis Stevenson: His Work And Personality. See also 1924 for the slightly different book version ed. by Colvin]

1913

St. Gaudens, Augustus. (1913). Reminiscences. 2 vols. New York: ***

1913

Watt, Francis (1913). R.L.S. London/New York: Methuen & Co. Ltd/Macmillan & Co.

1914

James, Henry (1914). Notes on Novelists (‘ Robert Louis Stevenson’). ***: ***

1914

Low, Will H. (1914). ‘A Chronicle of Friendships. Second Paper: Enter R.L.S.’ The Century Magazine 88 vi (Oct 1914): 32-53.

1914

McClure, S.S. (1914). My Autobiography. New York: McClure Publications.

1914

Simpson, Eve Blantyre (1914). Robert Luis Stevenson’s Edinburgh Days. London: Hodder & Stoughton.

1914

Swinnerton, Frank A. (1914). Robert Louis Stevenson: A critical Study. London/New York: Secker/George H. Doran (n.d.).
[condemnation of S as a writer (though he exempts the short stories)]

1915

Cruse, Amy (1915). Robert Louis Stevenson. London/New York: Harrap (‘Heroes of Our Time’ series)/Frederick A. Stokes Co.

1915

Hamilton, Clayton (1915). On the Trail of Stevenson. Garden City, NY/ London: Doubleday, Page & Company/ Hodder & Stoughton.
[Six sections from articles in The Century Magazine on S in Edinburgh, Scotland, England, France, The Rest of Europe, America. Illustrated by photos and full-page drawings by Walter Hale. The Appendix (in the 1923 ed. at least) is a chronological outline of S’s life and his travels. The 1st ed. (151 pp) contains a section of ch. 6 (pp. 130-35) removed in later editions (145 pp) after the Stevenson heirs (probably Belle) got the book mostly recalled. These pages refer to RLS and Fanny consuming their relationship in Grez and indirect references to Stevenson’s earlier love-life. Le Bris lists this as 1907, which seems a mistake.]

1915

Stevenson, Fanny (1915). The Cruise of the Janet Nichol. London/New York: ***/Charles Scribner’s Sons
[the diary on which this is based is in the Silverado Museum]

1916

Allen, Maryland (1916). 'South Sea Memories of R. L. S.'. Bookman (Aug 1916).

1916

Catton, Robert (1916). A Little Bit of Robert Louis Stevenson. Edinburgh: Andrew Elliot.
[Written for the Scottish Thistle Club of Honolulu, and read on the 28th of June, 1912]

1916

Harrison, Birge (1916). ‘With Stevenson at Grez’. Century Magazine (Dec. 1916): ***

1916

Rice, Richard Ashley (1916). Robert Louis Stevenson: How to Know Him. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Co.

1916

Sanchez, Nellie (1916). ‘In California With Robert Louis Stevenson’. Scribner’s Magazine (October 1916) 60(4).

1916

Trudeau, Edward Livingston (1916). An Autobiography. New York: Doubleday, page & Co.
[S’s doctor at Saranac]

1917

Daplyn, A. J. (1917). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson at Barbizon’. Chamber’s Journal (14 July 1917).

1917

Rivenburgh, E. (1917). ‘Stevenson in Hawaii’. Bookman (Oct.-Dec. 1917).

1917

Sullivan, T.R. (1917). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson at Saranac’. Scribner’s Magazine (aug. 1917). Repr. In Passages from the Journal of Thomas Russell Sullivan 1891-1903. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.

1919

Brown, George E. (1919). A Book of R.L.S. London: Methuen & Co.

1919

Lysaght, S.R. (1919). ‘A Visit to Robert Louis Stevenson’. TLS (4 Dec. 1919). Repr. In Masson (1922).

1920

Guthrie, Charles (1920). Robert Louis Stevenson. Some Personal Recollections. Edinburgh: W. Green & Son Ltd.

1920

Bay, J. Christian [Jens Christian] (1920). Echoes of Robert Louis Stevenson. Chicago Walter M. Hills. [Illustrated with vignettes by Axel T. Bay and facsimiles of letters]

1920

Masson, Rosaline (1920, revised edition). Robert Louis Stevenson. Edinburgh/London: Nelson/Jack

1920

Sanchez, Nellie Van de Grift (1920). The Life of Mrs Robert Louis Stevenson. New York/London: Charles Scribner’s Sons/***
[favourable portrait by Fanny’s sister; contains details of her early life not found elsewhere]

1920

Strong, Isobel (1920). Robert Louis Stevenson. Saranac Lake, NY: Stevenson Society of America.

1921

Blanch, Josephine Mildred (1921). The Story of a Friendship. Robert Louis Stevenson, Jules Simoneau. A California Reminiscence of Stevenson. ***: ***.
[written a year previous to Simoneau’s death in 1908]

1921

Clarke, William Edward (1921). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson in Samoa’. Yale Review (Jan. 1921): ***

1921

Colvin, Sir Sidney (1921). Memories and Notes of Persons and Places, 1852-1912. London/New York: Edward Arnold/Scribner’s pp. 98-152.

1921

Eaton, Charlotte (1921). Stevenson at Manasquan. Chicago: Bookfellows.

1922

Hellman, George S. (1922). ‘The Stevenson Myth’. Century Magazine ( December 1922).

1922

Low Will H (1922). Stevenson and Margarita. New Rochelle, New York: Mayflower Press

1922

Masson, Rosaline (1922). I Can Remember Robert Louis Stevenson. Edinburgh/London: Chambers. The 2nd edition of 1925 includes J.M. Barrie’s imaginary meeting with RLS in Edinburgh.

1922

Stevenson, Margaret Isabella (1922). Stevenson’s Baby Book. San Francisco: printed for John Howell by John Henry Nash
[record of early sayings and doings]

1922

Van Dyke, Henry '(1922). 'An Adventurer in a Velvet Jacket'. Scribner's Magazine (Aug 1922).

1923

Barbour, G.F. (1923). Life of Alexander Whyte. London: Hodder and Stoughton, Ltd.
[Whyte meets Thomas Stevenson in (?) early 1880 and tells him that he thinks his son will stand beside Swift and Sterne.]

1923

Masson, Rosaline (1923). Life of Robert Louis Stevenson. Edinburgh/London: Chambers

1923

Pears, Edmund Radcliffe (1923). ‘Some Recollections of Robert Louis Stevenson’. Scribners Magazine (January 1923).

1923

Stevenson, Margaret (1923). ‘Notes about Robert Louis Stevenson from his mother’s diary’. Vailima Edition, vol. 26. Year-by-year summary 1850-88 from her own diaries, prepared by Stevenson’s mother 1895-6.

1924

Colvin, Sidney (1924). Robert Louis Stevenson: His Work And Personality. London: Hodder & Stoughton.
[Contributions from Gosse, Munro, Lowe, Crockett, Osbourne etc.; a revised version of the ‘Bookman Extra Number’ (1913) dedicated to RLS; additional essays and extracts by Colvin. Lloyd Osbourne, W.R. Nicoll, N. Munro, J.A. Hammerton, St. John Adcock and A. Noyes, mostly reprinted from elsewhere]

1924

Osborne, Lloyd (1924). An Intimate Portrait of R.L.S. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons
[warmly affectionate biographical sketches by S’s stepson; included as prefaces to the Tusitala and Skerryvore Editions]

1924

Steuart, John A. (1924). Robert Louis Stevenson: Man and Writer. A Critical Biography, 2 vols. Boston: Little, Brown & Co.

[After Swinnerton (1914),  this biography continues the revision of the Stevenson myth]

1924

Stevenson, Fanny Van de Grift (1924). The Cruise of the Janet Nichol among the South Sea Islands. A Diary. London: Chatto & Windus. See also 2003.

1925

Hellman, George (1925). The True Stevenson: a Study in Clarification. Boston: Little. Brown & Co.

1926

Boodle, Adelaide A. (The Gamekeeper) (1926). R. L. S. and His Sine Qua Non. Flashlights from Skerryvore. London/New York: Murray/Scribner’s.

1927

Bok, E. W (1927). ‘The Playful Stevenson’. Scribners Magazine (August 1927).

1927

Chesterton, G. K. (1927). Robert Louis Stevenson. London: Hodder & Stoughton
[more of a critical study; a first edition has been seen listed as 1902]

1927

Steuart, John A. (1927). The Cap of Youth, being the love romance of Robert Louis Stevenson. Philadelphia/London: J.B. Lippincott Co./Sampson, Low & Co

1928

Lucas, E.V. (1928). The Colvins and their Friends. London/New York: Methuen, Scribner’s.
[Includes several chapters on RLS and quotes many letters from Fanny Stevenson to Colvin and Fanny Sitwell]

1929

Carré, Jean-Marie (1929). La vie de Robert Louis Stevenson. Paris: Gallimard

1929

Mackay, Eneas (1929). Robert Louis Stevenson and the Scottish Highlanders. Stirling: David B. Morris

1930

Dark, Sidney (1930). Robert Louis Stevenson. London: Hodder and Stoughton. (also listed as 1931). 310 pp.

1930

Carré, Jean-Marie (tr. Eleanor Hard ) (1930). The Frail Warrior. New York: Coward-McCann (London: Williams and Northgate, 1931; also reported as London: Noel Douglas, 1931).
[transl. of Carré 1929]

1931

Carothers, Alva (1931). Stevenson’s Isles of Paradise. A True Story of Adventures in the Samoan South Sea Islands. Santa Barbara: Alva Carothers.
[part travel, much reconstructed dialogue - sprinkled with verbal and visual references to Robert Louis Stevenson]

1931

Muir, Edwin (1931). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson’. Modern Scot (Autumn 1931). [probably mainly criticism]

1932

Dark, Sidney (1932). Robert Louis Stevenson. London: Hodder & Stoughton

1934

Holland, Clive (1934). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson at Bournemouth’. Chambers Journal (December 1934).

1934

MacCallum, Thomson Murray (1934). Adrift in the South seas, including Adventures with Robert Louis Stevenson. Los Angeles: Wetzel.

1935

Hashiba, Mastichi (1935). Robert Louis Stevenson, the Man. Tokyo: Kenkyusha.

1936

Hellman, George S. (1936). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson and the Streetwalker’. American Mercury (July 1936).

1937

Dalglish, Doris (1937). The Presbyterian Pirate: A Portrait of Robert Louis Stevenson. London: Oxford University Press

1937

Field, Isobel (1937). This Life I’ve Loved. London/New York: Longman, Green/ Charles Scribner’s Sons
[‘gossipy and attractive memoirs’ by S’s stepdaughter; also listed as pub. by Michael Joseph]

1939

Bermann, Richard A. (1939). Home from the Sea. Robert Louis Stevenson in Samoa. Indianapolis/New York: Bobbs-Merrill Co.
[translated into English by Elizabeth Reynolds – information from a note in the bibliography of Le Bris RLS, 1995]

1927

Bolitho, Hector (1927). Haywire. An American Travel Diary. New York: Longmans, Green.
[Stevenson mentioned pp. 111-113 in connection with his step-daughter, Isobel Field]

1939

Gwynn, Stephen (1939). Robert Louis Stevenson. London: Macmillan & Co.

1939

Proudfit, Isabel (1939). The Treasure Hunter. The Story of Robert Louis Stevenson. New York: Julian Messner Inc.

1942

Nakajima, Atushi (1942). Hikari-to-Kaze-to-Yume. Transl. Akira Miwa: Light, wind, and dreams; an interpretation of the life and mind of Robert Louis Stevenson. Tokyo: Hokuseido Press (1962, rev. ed. 1965).
[a novel based on the life of Stevenson on Samoa; the author sees Stevenson as having a similar ethical stance to himself]

1945

Cowell, Henry J (1945). Robert Louis Stevenson. An Englishman’s Re-study, After Fifty Years, of R. L. S. the Man. London: Epworth Press. 104 pp. Forewords by Sir James Fraser Cunninghame and The Rt Hon Isaac Foot.

1946

Fisher, Anne B. (1946). No More a Stranger. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.
[A fictionalized biography of Stevenson’s time in Monterey (Sept.-Dec. 1879) based on interviews with survivors who remembered him; the ‘Biographical Notes’ at the end provide references to the sources and photographs of people and places.]

1947

Cooper, Lettice (1947). Robert Louis Stevenson. London: Home & van Thal (also listed as ***: Arthur Barker; also US edition, Denver: Alan Swallow, 1948).

1947

Daiches, David (1947). Robert Louis Stevenson. Norfolk, Conn./Glasgow: New Directions Books/William Maclellan
[a critical study]

1949

Issler, Anne Roller (1949). Happier for his Presence. San Francisco and Robert Louis Stevenson. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

1950

Elwin, Malcolm (1950). The Strange Case of Robert Louis Stevenson. London/NY: Macdonald/Russel & Russel.

1950

Hinkley, Laura L. (1950). The Stevensons: Louis and Fanny. New York: Hastings House.

1950

Lawson, McEwan (1950). On the Bat’s Back. The Story of Robert Louis Stevenson. London: Lutterworth Press.

1950

McLaren, Moray (1950). Stevenson and Edinburgh. London: Chapman & Hall

1951

Field, Isobel (1951). A Bit of My Life. Santa Barbara, California: Schauer Printing Studio.

1951

Furnas, J.C. (1951). Voyage to Windward: the Life of Robert Louis Stevenson. New York/London: William Sloane/Faber & Faber.
[often considered the best biography to date]

1952

Stern, G.B. [Gladys Bronwyn] (1952). Robert Louis Stevenson. London: Longmans, Green & Co.
[see also 1954]

1953

Ellison, Joseph W. (1953). Tusitala of the South Seas : The Story of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Life in the South Pacific. New York: Hastings House.

1953

Ridley, M. R (1953). R. L. Stevenson. London: Oxford University Press.

1954

Grover, Eulalie Osgood (1954). Robert Louis Stevenson; Teller of Tales. New York, Dodd,
[Ill. By Marc Simont].

1954

Stern, G.B. [Gladys Bronwyn] (1954). He Wrote Treasure Island. The Story of Robert Louis Stevenson. London: Heinemann.
[see also 1952]

1954

Stern, G.B. [Gladys Bronwyn] (1954). Robert Louis Stevenson, The Man who Wrote “Treasure Island”: a biography. New York: Macmillan.
[see also 1952, 1954]

1956

Neider, Charles (ed.) (1956). Fanny and Robert Stevenson: Our Samoan Adventure. London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson.
[intro.; texts by S and Fanny S, incl F’s diary 1890-3]

1957

Aldington, Richard (1957). Portrait of a Rebel. London: Evans Brothers.

1959

Thompson, Francis (1959). The Real Robert Louis Stevenson. New York: University Publishers

1960

Caldwell, Elsie Noble (1960). Last Witness for Robert Louis Stevenson. Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press.

1961

Wilkie,l Katherine (1961). Robert Louis Stevenson: Storyteller and Adventurer. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

1963

Ricklefs, Roger (1963). The Mind of Robert Louis Stevenson. New York: Thomas Yoseloff

1964

Kahn, Edgar M (1964). R. L. S. A Warm-hearted Friend of Humanity. San Francisco: Edgar M. Kahn.

1965

Wood, James Playsted (1965). The Lantern Bearer. A Life of Robert Louis Stevenson. New York: Pantheon Books.

1966

Bailey, Alice Cooper (1966). To Remember Robert Louis Stevenson. New York David McKay Company.

1968

Mackay, Margaret (1968). The Violent Friend: The Story of Mrs Robert Louis Stevenson. New York: Doubleday & Co. Inc. Abridged ed.: London: J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd, 1970.

1968

Mackenzie, Compton (1968). Robert Louis Stevenson. London: ***

1969

Mackay, Margaret (1969). The Violent Friend. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.
[biography of Fanny Stevenson]

1973

Daiches, David (1973). Robert Louis Stevenson and his World. London: Thames & Hudson.

1973

Rather, Lois (1973). Stevenson’s Silver Ship. Biography of the “Casco”. Oakland: Rather Press.

1974

Binding, Paul (1974). Robert Louis Stevenson. Oxford: Oxford University Press
[illustrated by Robin Jaques; studies development of personality & creative imagination using letters and autobiographical writings; 205 pp.]

1974

Cohen, Edward H. (1974). The Henley-Stevenson Quarrel. Gainesville: University Presses of Florida.

1974

Knight, Alanna (1974). The Passionate Kindness. ****: Milton House. Reprinted Glasgow: Molendinar Press, 1980.

1974

Pope-Hennessy, James (1974). Robert Louis Stevenson. London/New York: Jonathan Cape/Simon & Schuster.
[a biography that is often praised]

1974

Rice, Edward (1974). Journey to Upolu. Robert Louis Stevenson, Victorian Rebel. New York: Dodd , Mead.

1977

Gasson, Roy (ed.) (1977). The Illustrated Robert Louis Stevenson. ***: Jupiter Books

1978

Mair, Craig (1978). A Star for Seamen: The Stevenson Family of Engineers. London: John Murray

1980

Calder, Jenni (1980). RLS: A Life Study. London: Hamish Hamilton.

1980

Calder, Jenni (1980). The Robert Louis Stevenson Companion. London: Paul Harris Publishing

1980

Jacquette, Rodolphe (1980). Tusitala: ou, La vie aventureuse de Robert-Louis Stevenson. Paris : Seghers.

1986

Knight, Alanna (1986). R.L.S. in the South Seas: An Intimate Photographic Record. Edinburgh/***: Mainstream/Paragon House (ISBN: 0913729329), $18.95.

1987

Rankin, Nicholas (1987). Dead Man’s Chest: Travels after R.L.S. London: Faber. Also: London: Phoenix Press, 2001.

[This biography of RLS stands out from the dozens of others because of its unique form as an in-the-footsteps travel book (the most successful of its kind) covering the whole of Stevenson's life and arranged in appropriate chronological order (so following both footsteps and life-stages), weaving together an account of Stevenson's life with the biographer's experiences along the way. The result is an essayistic sequence of chance encounters and non-linear chains of thought all held together within the framework of Stevenson's life and Rankin's attempt to understand it. To this latter end, Rankin also researches in libraries (and tells us of the library visits): he discovers the Devonia passenger list (pp. 122-3), a manuscript account of Stevenson on Molokai by Sister Leopoldina Burns (pp. 281-84), and Graham Greene's preparatory notes for a biography of RLS (pp. 74-7). (In a private communication, Rankin tells me that the account of Sister Leopoldina was consulted in the headquarters of her Order in New York. - RD.) Rankin's travels also take him to interview eminent Stevensonians Barry Menikoff (pp. 267-68) and Roger Swearingen (pp. 167-68). But the most significant meeting is with Jorge Luis Borges, which opens the book (pp. 1-5) and to whom Rankin returns on several occasions, creating one of the threads that hold together this fascinating and sui generis reportage-biography.]

1990

Mussapi, Roberto (1990). Tusitala. Verso l’sola del tesoro. Milano: Leonardo. Repr (with corrections) as Tusitala, il narratore. Vita di Robert Louis Stevenson. Milano: Ponte alle Grazie, 2007.


[Biographical outline and episodes starting from the first voyage to the USA, proceeding by episodes combined with flashbacks to childhood and youth. Lyrical evocations in poetic prose are mixed with interesting critical analyses (the repeated evocation of sounds heard in the darkness in Stevenson’s writings; the influential experience of unromantic Silverado which taught him that ‘stories must be created from every fragment of common reality, illuminated by imagination’; the unusual attitude towards South Sea cultures of seeing affinities with one’s own culture rather than exotic differences
[‘Conobbe per affinità, non per differenza’]). It begins and ends with a name: ‘Devonia…Tusitala’]

1992

Bell, Ian (1992). Robert Louis Stevenson: Dreams of Exile. Edinburgh/NY: Mainstream/Henry Holt & Co.
[also listed as pub. in 1991. Brian Doyle (Spirited Men, 2004) considers this ‘the best of the modern books about Louis’ after Furnas]

1992

Marías, Javier (1992). Vidas escritas. Madrid: Siruela. Collects ‘brief lives’ (mixing the telling anecdote and the pithy judgment) previously published in the magazine Claves, including ’ Robert Louis Stevenson entre criminales’.
[The title refers to Stevenson’s interest in morally ambiguous lives. Among other comments, Marías says ‘Almost nobody takes the trouble to read Stevenson’s essays, which are among the most penetrating and lively examples from the nineteenth century’. Biographical sketch. For the English translation, see Maraís 2006]

1993

Bevan, Bryan (1993). Robert Louis Stevenson: Poet and Teller of Tales. London/New York: Rubicon Press/St. Martin’s Press (ISBN: 0312103026), $39.95.
[‘Bevan’s volume finds its strength in his elucidation of Stevenson’s final, difficult years in the South Seas’, YWES]

1993

Lapierre, Alexandra (1993). Fanny Stevenson. Paris: Robert Lafont. Engl, transl.: Fanny Stevenson: Muse, Adventuress & Romantic Enigma. ***: Fourth Estate, 1995.

1993

McLynn, Frank (1993). Robert Louis Stevenson. London: Hutchinson.

1993

Murphy, Jim (1993). Across America on an Emigrant Train. ***: Clarion Books (ISBN 0395633907), $17.00.
[exerpts from Stevenson’s The Amateur Emigrant and Across the Plains interwoven with maps, photographs and other background material about the building and early days of the railroads]

1994

Bell, Gavin (1994). In Search of Tusitala: Travels in the Pacific After Robert Louis Stevenson. London: Picador.

1994

Le Bris, Michel (1994). Robert Louis Stevenson. Les années bohémiennes 1850/1880. Paris: Nil.
[first volume of two]

1996

Gherman, Beverly (1996). Robert Louis Stevenson: Teller of Tales. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster (ISBN: 0689319851), $16.00.
[Biography focusing on the events of the life, ill. with photographs, 136pp; designed for readers 8-12 years]

1996

Terry, R. C. (ed.) (1996). Robert Louis Stevenson: Interviews and Recollections. Iowa City: U Iowa P (ISBN 0877455120). $24.95.
[50 recollections by his wife, stepson, mother, Frances Sitwell, Andrew Lang, Henry Adams and others]

1997

Carpenter, Angelica Shirley & Jean Shirley (1997). Robert Louis Stevenson: Finding Treasure Island. Minneapolis: Lemer Publications.
[144 pp.].

1997

Davies, Hunter (1997). The Teller of Tales: In Search of Robert Louis Stevenson. New York: Interlink (ISBN: 156656204X)

1997

Fitzpatrick, Elayne Wareing (1997, 2nd ed). A Quixotic Companionship: Fanny and Robert Louis Stevenson. Monterey: Old Monterey Preservation Society.
[104 pp., illustrated, available only through the COOPER STORE operated by Old Monterey Preservation Society on Alvarado Street, Monterey, CA 93940.  TEL. (831) 649-7111.]

1997

Hammond, J.R. (1997). A Robert Louis Stevenson Chronology. London: Macmillan Press Ltd

1999

Bathurst, Bella (1999). The Lighthouse Stevensons. London: HarperCollins

1999

Leslie, Jean & Roland Paxton (1999). Bright Lights, The Stevenson Engineers 1752-1971, comprising Family Recollections. Edinburgh: published by the authors. 126 illustrations (b&w and colour).
[Produced on the occasion of the ‘Stevenson Family of Engineers Symposium’ held at the Royal Museum of Scotland in 1994. Family recollections by Jean Leslie, grand-daughter of Charles Stevenson, and professional comment on engineering aspects of the Stevenson lighthouses by Professor Roland Paxton. Includes a chapter on Robert Louis Stevenson’s life as a reluctant trainee engineer and edited extracts from the MS ‘R.L. Stevenson. Scraps from his life’ by RLS's cousin Charles Alexander Stevenson [1855-1950], pp. 128-136.]

1999

Yoshida, Midori (1999). TUSITALA - Monogataluhito. [?Tokyo]: Mainichi Newspaper Press.

2000

Fitzpatrick, Elayne Wareing (2000). Robert Louis Stevenson’s Ethics for Rascals. Philadelphia: Xlibris (Random House). ISBN: 0-7388-3548-X (Trade Paperback, $16), 0-7388-4443-8 (Hardback, $25), 0-7388-9418-4 (eBook, $8)
[Book 1 is an ‘in the footsteps’ type biography, Book 2 is an "introduction to the ... playful philosophy of the prince of storytellers"; more information at www.xlibris.com, including an excerpt from the book]

2001

Callow, Philip (2001). Louis. A Life of Robert Louis Stevenson. London/Chicago: Constable Robinson/Ivan R. Dee. [US: $27.50 cloth, ISBN 1-56663-343-5].

2001

Forster, Margaret (2001). Good Wives?: Mary, Fanny, Jennie and Me, 1845-2001. London: Chatto.
[Includes a section on Fanny Stevenson as a wife]

2001

Lübbren, Nina (2001). Rural Artists’ Colonies in Europe 1870 – 1910. Manchester: Manchester U P.
[Contains a fair bit of detail about Bob, RLS et al in Barbizon and Grez-sur-Loing.]

2001

Woodhead , Richard (July 2001). The Strange Case of R L Stevenson. Edinburgh: Luath Press.
[A fictionalized account of the adult life of Robert Louis Stevenson, within the context of his long illness (often assumed to be tuberculosis), interwoven with factual material, including the words of five doctors who treated him at different periods. A new look at the influence of illness on literary endeavour, and the effect of a powerful personality on the prejudices of his doctors. Woodhead’s acocunt of writing the book in Textualities 2005 http://textualities.net/writers/features-n-z/stevensonr03.php]

2003

Stevenson, Fanny Van de Grift (ed. Roslyn Jolly) (2003). The Cruise of the ‘Janet Nichol’ among the South Sea Islands. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press. Release date: October 2003.
[The text of the 1890 diary as revised by Fanny for publication in 1914, with the addition of a substantial introduction plus explanatory notes and recommended reading. Illustrated with photographs taken on the cruise, some previously published in the 1914 edition, many published here for the first time. German translation: Jolly, Roslyn (Hrg. von) (2005). Kurs auf die Sudsee: Das Tagebuch der Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson. München: Frederking & Thaler.]

2004

Gray, William (2004). Robert Louis Stevenson: A Literary Life. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 0333984005. Hardback £50, paperback £16.99  Publication: 23 April 2004.
[Not really a biography, but an overview of Stevenson’s writing career made interesting by a stimulating division into five geographical chapters, dealing with works that can be profitably related to the cultural contexts of England, France, Scotland, America and the South Seas]

2004

Cairney, John (2004). The Quest for Robert Louis Stevenson. Ediburgh: Luath Press.
[A readable personal account by an actor and student of Stevenson who has interpreted the writer on many occasions; no footnotes or index; quotations from RLS are placed at the beginning and end of chapters]

2004

Jamison, Kay Redfield (2004). Exuberance: The Passion for Life. New York: Knopf. Paperback edition, New York: Vintage, 2005.
[Jamison (professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University) says ‘Psychologists
[…] have chosen to dissect and catalog the morbid emotions ... and to leave largely unexamined the more vital, positive ones.’ She refers to Stevenson’s exuberant personality and his belief that artistic work should be undertaken in a spirit of enthusiasm (quoting ‘Letter to a Young Gentleman who Proposes to Embrace the Career of Art’: ‘The book, the statue, the sonata must be gone upon with the unreasoning good faith and the unflagging spirit of children at their play’).]

2005

Harman, Claire (2005). Robert Louis Stevenson: A Biography. London : HarperCollins. ISBN: 0007113218. Published in the USA under the title Myself and the Other Fellow: A Life of Robert Louis Stevenson.

2005

Capus, Alex (2005). Reisen im Licht der Sterne. Eine Vermutung. [Journeys by the Light of the Stars. A Conjecture] München: Knaus.
[A readable combination of biography, tangential stories and freewheeling ‘conjecture’ centred on Stevenson’s life in Samoa.]

2006

Marías, Javier (2006). Written Lives. Translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa. New York: New Directions.
[Originally published in Spanish in 1992, see above.]

2008

Eileen Dunlop (2008). The Travelling Mind. Edinburgh: NMS Enterprises. 150 pp.
[A concise narrative of Stevenson’s life, which, though it makes no new contributions to our knowledge, tells the story well and offers convincing interpretations of key moments (quarrels with father and Henley, family relations on Samoa).]

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