Recent Robert Louis Stevenson Studies 2011-2020
Dossena, Marina (2015). ‘Sublime Caledonia: Description, Narration and Evaluation in Nineteenth-Century Texts on Scotland’. Philip Shaw et al. (eds). Essays in Honour of Nils-Lennart Johannesson (Stockholm: Stockholm University Press). 177-192.
[Comparison of Nattes’ Scotia Dipicta (1804) and S’s Edinburgh: Picturesque Notes. There are more ‘involvement strategies’ in EPN: ‘you’ is frequent (Nattes uses ‘we’ more often); popular and literary references are mixed more freely; S’s linguistic skill encourages reader participation.]
Dossena, Marina (2015). ‘ “Across the ocean ferry’; Point of view, description and evaluation in nineteenth-century narrations of ocean crossings’. In Marina Dosses (ed.) (2015). Transatlantic Perspectives in Late Modern English. Amsterdam: John Benjamin’s. 117-34.
[A comparative study of Atlantic-crossing narratives in 19C Scottish letters and diaries, S’s Amateur Emigrant and De Amicis’s Sull’oceano. RLS pays attention to people; uses the first person singular relatively frequently; emphasizes the cultural value of music; comments on language-use]
Valint, Alexandra (2015). ‘The Child’s Resistance to Adulthood in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island: Refusing to Parrot’. English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920 58.1 (2015): 3-29.
[Dr Livesey (who has a privileged place as narrator of ch 16-18) is often seen as a positive figure, but is cruel, greedy, emotionless, and quick to punish those deemed inferior. Jim resists the doctor’s version of adulthood by taking refuge in an eternal and haunted childhood. Jim’s ‘never-ending youth’ marks him as being uninterested in and opposed to the avaricious schemes pursued by all the adults (gentlemen and pirates) around him. ]
Bosch, Daniel (2014). ‘On Epitaphic Fictions: Robert Louis Stevenson, Philip Larkin’. The Paris Review 5 April 29 2014
[The relationship of Philip Larkin’s ‘This Be the Verse’ to the poem quoted in its title, Stevenson’s ‘Requiem’.]
Buzwell, Greg (2014). ‘"Man is not truly one, but truly two": duality in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'. British Library: Discovering Literature: Romantics and Victorians, articles.
[Duality in the novel and contemporary debates about consciousness, about humans and animals, homosexuality and criminal psychology. ‘Romantics and Victorians’ (launched in May 2014) is the first literary period covered by the ‘Discovering Literature’ project, which will be extended to other periods. The project aims to illustrate and explain works of literature by exploring their historical, political and cultural contexts. The themes explored use reproductions of printed and manuscript works in the British Library, combined with video, specially-written articles.]
Grant, Helen (2014). ‘“Tempered in the flames of hell”: an examination of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Bottle Imp’. Helen Grant 4 March 2014.3.
[An overview of stories with the same plot-structure as ‘The Bottle Imp’ before Stevenson’s tale: by Grimmelhausenn, De La Motte Fouqué, Grimm, R.B. Peake, Balzac (La Peau de Chagrin); and how Stevenson’s tale differs and is superior to these.]
Henville, Letitia (2014). ‘Ballad haunting: Stevenson’s “The Song of Rahéro”’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 11 (2014): 45-70.
[S’s adoption of the ballad form uses a dead genre for a people and culture that are dying, by identifying with the Tahitians (as a ‘Beretani’, Briton, whose Empire will disappear, and as bearer of Scottish culture and language under more immediate threat) S mourns a shared fate. For S, the ballad was associated more with conventional characters and plots (rather than metre). Here it celebrates an active and living pre-contact culture, contrasting with the passivity and death of island cultures described in ISS. By feeling a shared fate, S displays empathy.]
Hodges, Jeremy (2014). Stevenson’s Paris. Bohemian Days before Treasure Island. Falkirk: Bohemian Ventures. On sale at Shakespeare & Co., Paris.
[Stevenson’s ‘Bohemian Days’ 1874-78; his flight from Edinburgh, and life in Paris and the Fontainebleau area with extracts from his writings and those by Will Low, Margaret Bertha Wright, Lloyd Osbourne etc.]
McCracken-Flesher, Caroline (2014). ‘The future is another country: restlessness and Robert Louis Stevenson’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 11 (2014): 3-16.
[S travelled to USA from a city laden with meaning to a territory he expected to be new and authentic. On one hand, however, he was to inevitably conditioned by previous narratives, and on the other he lacked the language to describe, so understand, the new, seen as empty and unreal (even beautiful Wyoming!). California, however, is a return to the familiar and yet a sense of newness, the authentic and real. He continued to search for the shock of unfamiliarity that signals the new. ]
Motion, Andrew (2014). ‘Treasure Island: Long John Silver is a secret father figure’. Guardian 29 Nov 2014
Perrotti-Garcia, Ana Julia (2014). ‘As transformações de Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: traduções, adaptações e demais refrações da obra prima de Robert Louis Stevenson’ [The transformations of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: translations, adaptations and refractions of Robert Louis Stevenson’s masterpiece]. PhD thesis at the University of São Paulo, Brazil.
[A study of translations, adaptations and revisions of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in Portuguese with a survey of interpretations. A parallel corpus of aligned texts was created and key words and passages were compared and and analysed. ]
Pryor, Sean (2014). ‘Stevenson among the Balladeers’. Victorian Studies 57.1 (214): 33-56.
[A study of S’s Ballads (1890), in particular ‘The Song of Rahéro’. The ‘ballad’ had connotations of ancient or naive poetics but also of sophistication and modernity; S brings together ancient and modern, naive and sophisticated, colonized and colonizer in irresolvable oppositions. The non-Pacific poems are close to ballad metre, but the two Pacific narratives are in hexameters—popular alternative form for historical/mythical narratives from diverse national traditions (e.g. Morris’s Sigurd (1876)). S’s six-beat hexameters often sound like pairs of rhythmical three-beat ballad ‘half-meters’, but are interrupted by long lines that ‘refuse to rollick’: Pryor sees the alternation as ‘skilled, sophisticated prosody’. ‘Rahéro’ invokes the ballad’s associations with primitive and the classical epic, associating Polynesia with ancient Greece. S’s sophistication combines self-conscious naiveté and self-conscious complexity. He also gives coherence to the poems through ‘abstract’ diction (including repeated and half-repeated formulas invoking the colloquial) which creates an abstract pattern. S’s ballad ‘is a mode of thinking and feeling in a time and in a place’]
Sandison, Alan (2014). ‘Remembering forward’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 11 (2014): 17-44.
[Affinities between the aesthetics of S and those of Australian Aboriginal art. Both find energy in the inarticulable, both focus on materials and technique, with the artist ‘living’ the art; focus too on abstract pattern. Aboriginal art is guided by ‘Dreamtime’, the mythological ancestral foundations of everyday life, and is anchored in the landscape. S too defines himself against the past, explores identity of landscape and community on Weir, has a moral and intellectual core to his pattern-making. ]
Wong, Amy R. (2014). ‘The Poetics of Talk in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island’. SEL Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 54.4 (Autumn 2014): 901-22.
[The relationship between Treasure Island and S’s ideas on talk and conversation. Both talking and adventuring depend on responsiveness to unpredictable interactions. Treasure Island aspires to translate the poetics of talk (based on vitality and openness) into a print medium: more dynamic than print typically is, yet is still ultimately incapable of talk’s interactivity. ]
Abrahamson, Robert-Louis (2013). ‘“Such numbers are evidently quite untrustworthy”: Robert Louis Stevenson and the absurdity of calculation’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 10: 12-28.
[Seeing human experience as too complex to be captured in numbers, S has a distrust of measurements and calculations: (i) financial calculations: insurance (Wrong Box, Ebb-Tide, and Wrecker), self-interest in falsifying payments (Kidnapped, Treasure Island); (ii) travel calculations: unforeseens of travel, incompleteness of maps; (iii) scientific calculations: genetic history (seen as imaginative participation in ancestral life), the scale of the universe (evoked imaginatively); (iv) moral calculation: an absurd strategy (‘Lay Morals’, ‘Fables’); (vi) literary calculation: despite meticulous outlines of works with predicted page numbers, he admits that we always include too many details.]
Brown, Neil Macara (2013). ‘Going into St Ives: some original sources revealed’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 10: 31-58.
[A survey of the documentary sources used for St. Ives. As for his previous historical narratives, S used first-hand accounts for incidents and typical language. The idea for the story came when reading the Annual Register 1792–1820, especially for 1811–13 (used for the escape from the Castle, the Duel, the burial of the suicide, the calico cart used by escaping prisoners). The Old Bailey Records was another source (for the ‘claret-coloured coach’; it was also used for the unfinished ‘The Shovels of Newton French’). He asked for illustrated books by Rolandson and Cruikshank (for inns, travel and urban entertainments), books of fashion plates of the period (also used for Weir, set in the same period) and for first-hand accounts of balloon ascensions. French sources were used for the prisoners’uniform and St. Ives’ tale of derring-do told to Ronald in the hen-house at Colinton. References to these same source texts are also winkingly inserted into the narrative itself.]
Buckton, Oliver S. (2013). ʻTravel Writing: Nonfiction into Fictionʼ. In Caroline McCracken-Flesher (ed.). Approaches to Teaching the Works of Robert Louis Stevenson. New York: Modern Languages Association. 104-110.
[Links between Sʼs travel writing and fiction: travel and location an important foundation of plot and character development; in Donkey, a novelistic sense of of characters, landscape is historicized. Early travel writing features random travel, but even Treasure Island refers to a ʻcruiseʼ, like the South Sea travels: an open-ended structure. S used his Pacific cruises and letters as a quarry of his fiction; in his travel writing he transforms elements into symbols of wider significance.]
Burnham Bloom, Abigail. (2013). ‘Stevenson’s Poetry in the Victorian Survey’. In Caroline McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2013). 168-73.
[Shares experience of teaching Child’s Garden poems: voice, reader, view of childhood; metrical analysis; the Victorian child (’Table Rules for Children’ and S’s parody); complex narrator’s point-of-view, naive judgements and adult irony. Links with Dr Jekyll: incomprehensible rules of society; complex role of narrator.]
Calder, Jenni (2013). ʻStevenson and His Place: Scotland, England, the United States, and
Samoaʼ. In Caroline McCracken-Flesher (ed.). Approaches to Teaching the Works of
Robert Louis Stevenson. New York: Modern Languages Association. 26-33.
[S was constantly travelling: for health reasons, from restlessness and curiosity, and to escape bourgeois domesticity; his writings show an unusual diversity of interest in other countries and involvement: early travel books blend personal with historical/ topographical observations, including historical/social parallels with Scotland, found frequently in the later South Seas writings, at same time trying to understand the shared human experience of the indigenous people.]
Caracciolo, Peter L. (2013). ‘The Shakespearian Nights of Robert Louis Stevenson’. William Baker and Isobel Armstrong (eds). Form and Feeling in Modern Literature: Essays in Honour of Barbara Hardy. London: Legenda. 20-28.
[S’s approach to writing was influenced by the narrative dynamics of The Arabian Nights (the way the stories interact with frame and create complicated hierarchies of texts). S has an eye for intricate structure, and is attracted by the arabesque. In the New Arabian Nights ‘the reader is disturbed by the unexpected depths amid the apparently whimsical ironies about Victorian manners and mores’ (23). In ‘A Gossip on a Novel of Dumas’’, he comments on how readers have been shocked by Burton’s recent translation.]
Caserio, Robert. ‘Narrative and Narratology: The Ebb Tide of Action’. In McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2013). 83-88.
[The Ebb-Tide as ‘antinarrative narrative’: it bundles together narrative types (romance, adventure, epic, parable) that depend on actions/events, where the inactive Herrick doesn’t fit in. Things he does are overridings of his will or, like his failed suicide, neither voluntary nor definite event. Indeed, ET can be seen as a critique of adventure story and romance.]
Chatton, Barbara (2013). ʻChildrenʼs Literatureʼ. In Caroline McCracken-Flesher (ed.). Approaches to Teaching the Works of Robert Louis Stevenson. New York: Modern Languages Association. 111-116. [Stevenson in the CL course: explore enduring appeal vs cultural differences of A Childʼs Garden; differences between Treasure Island and contemporary CL adventure stories, intertextuality of TrIs: allusions to it in Barrie. The study of adaptation to other media. S places child character at the centre of action, with the personality of a recognisable child, allowing them to explore, have adventures and play.]
Colley, Ann C. (2013). ‘Exposure and Image: A Visual Approach’. In Caroline McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2012). 141-45.
[Stevenson and his family took photos in the Pacific 1888-94: intended for his ‘South Seas’ book; also sent to publishers to ensure accuracy of illustrations to his works. Students can compare these photos with conventional South Seas images. Photography (representation through light and darkness) can also be taken as a metaphor to explore S’s prose: the contrast of light and darkness, discontinuous and intermittent light—in his Pacific writings and earlier works (shadows, gaslight, lanterns).]
Danahay, Martin. (2013). ‘Stevenson and Adaptation: Resources and Materials’. In Caroline McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2013). 157-61.
[An overview of significant derivative works and ideas for exploitation in class. Jekyll and Hyde: evolution of characters and themes in adaptations, possible correlation of this to cultural anxieties; influence beyond adaptation; JH restaurants and bars. Treasure Island: importance of the 1911 Wyeth illustrations. Kidnapped adaptations and the ‘branding’ of Scotland.]
De Capitani, Lucio (2013). ‘Il moralista indeciso. Robert Louis Stevenson racconta François Villon’ [The undecided moralist. RLS narrates François Villon]. At academia.edu.
[Tests the idea that S used the essay and short story to arrive at two different types of understanding: moral judgment (from the authoritative brilliant conversationalist, in the tradition of the Romantic essayist-guide) and acceptance of ambiguity (the polyphonic narrator of the short story, also present as the storyteller, oscillating between empathy and detachment). The narrator is not a clear guide to judgment of Villon, while in the essay, S presents himself as a man of principles; despite the different points of view of the essay, there is a clear final judgment, not present in the short story.]
Danelle Di Frances, Christy (2013). ‘“Hunted gallowsward with jeers”: legal disillusionment and the diasporic impulse in Stevenson’s fiction’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 10: 59-86.
[S’s fiction depicts a Scottish judicial system that could be corrupt and inhumane in Kidnapped, Catriona and Weir of Hermiston. This distrust of the legal system leads to internal and external movements (David to Leyden, Archie Weir to Hermiston), where on the periphery occasionally a true sense of justice could be found.]
De Giovanni, Flora (2013). ‘R. L. Stevenson, critico d’arte vittoriano’. Flora de Giovanni (ed.). In difesa dell’illuminazione a gas. Milano: Mimesi Edizioni. 7-13.
[Reading for S is not learning a message but meeting another person, realizing that one is not always right. He aims to encourage beneficial doubt and encourage more open and tolerant thought. Assuming the mask of Harlequin in his essays he hides behind unnamed characters, entertaining while undermining dominant ideology, preparing the modern condition of changing views of reality. He undermines reassuring polarities, encourages the rejection of the utilitarian approach to activity and the abandonment of wealth and respectability as prime goals, in favour of a new world view (harmonious, joyful, tolerant) and the pleasure of exercising faculties for their own sake.]
Della Valle, Paola (2013). Stevenson nel Pacifico: una Lettura Postcoloniale. Roma: Aracne. 156 pp.
[With his Pacific works, we see a new Stevenson: Realist, distanced from the adventure novel, able to hear the voice of the ‘other’. He describes Imperial corruption and decadence, the clash of cultures and the effects of the Western presence on local populations, anticipating concepts and images used a century later by postcolonial criticism.]
Denisoff, Dennis (2013). ʻThe Visual Culture of Robert Louis Stevensonʼ. In Caroline McCracken-Flesher (ed.). Approaches to Teaching the Works of Robert Louis Stevenson. New York: Modern Languages Association. 54-60.
[A debate on new visual media can lead to a discussion of Sʼs works: the pleasure of losing the self in new media and in Sʼs puzzling fictional worlds, the ʻvisualityʼ of Sʼs writing and especially concentration on the face—revealing yet constantly changing, reflecting the multiplicity of the self and the elusiveness of the fleeting essence.]
Denunzio, Fabrizio (2013). ‘La modernità tra simboli e figure del lavoro’. Flora de Giovanni (ed.). In difesa dell’illuminazione a gas. Milano: Mimesi Edizioni. 99-104. [‘The English Admirals’ is a problem for the critic: we can see ‘Gas Lamps’ and ‘Walking Tours’ as conservative reaction to the continuous change of technological innovation and life in the metropolis, but how can a apologia of military valour go coherently with reflections on modernity? S’s essays offer ironic criticism of the ruling class (cf ‘Idlers’)—why is this missing from ‘Admirals’? The admirals are brave and audacious individuals, masters of the sea: a symbol of traditional work (man and his strength dominating Nature), so an indirect criticism of modern forms of work (cotton-spinner, bagman). Similarly, in ‘Gas Lamps’ the lamplighter travelling from lamp to lamp is preferred to the ‘sedate electrician’ who just throws a switch. S.defines these two types of activity as in a dialectic in the modern world.]
Di Frances, Christy Danelle (2013). ‘“And The Roadside Fire”: Portrayals of Home Through National Song in Stevenson’s Scottish Adventures’. Studies in Scottish Literature 39:1: 181–200. Online
[From the abstract: Allusions to “home” in popular Scottish song and in Stevenson’s work, especially in Kidnapped; S’s broader configuration of “home”, as both personal and engaged with the Scottish national consciousness; how he preserves “home” within his modern adventure aesthetic through reference to popular Scottish song, ballads and folk songs.]
Dossena, Marina (2013). ‘Stour or Dour or Clour: An Overview of Scots Usage in Stevenson’s Works and Correspondence’. John M. Kirk and Iseabail Macleod (eds.). Scots: Studies in its Literature and Language, Festschrift for J. Derrick McClure (SCROLL: Scottish Cultural Review of Language and Literature 21). 87-101.
[S’s comments on Scots in the Preface to Underwoods. His use of Scots ‘turns of phrase’, syntax and vocabulary to define characters and context. His use of Scots in the Thomson/Johnson letters exchanged with Charles Baxter bear witness to the flexibility with which language choices can become emblems of a pragmatic attitude, and define an interactional relationship by their very presence and density. Here they also become markers of personalisation, of close acquaintance and psychological proximity, stressing the value of Scots as the language of ‘all that has to do with social life’.]
Dryden, Linda (2013). ʻThe Gothic: Detection and Science Fictionʼ. In McCracken-Flesher
(ed.) (2013). 96-103.
[S made an important contribution to the kind of popular fiction that is also significant literature; he moved easily between genres and narrative modes (ignoring the advice of family and friends); adds psychology to the gothic, helps place horror at the heart of the metropolis; The Dynamiter adds absurdity to urban gothic; Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde influenced duality in detective fiction; also contributed to science fiction and to divided superman-type heroes.]
Dryden, Linda. ‘Romance-ing Treasure island. Robert Louis Stevenson’s legacy to Conrad’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 10 (2013). 129-160.
[Conrad was irritated by frequent comparisons of his work (in praise or criticism) with that of Stevenson, although their imperial tales clearly explore the same literary and ideological terrain: (i) he considered himself artistically superior, part of an avant-garde; (ii) he felt, in contrast with S, unrecognised and financially unrewarded.
In 1898 he agreed to collaborate with Ford Madox Ford on an adventure romance, to make money, yet also in the ‘New Form’. Ford had already written the first version with the aim of imitating the success of TrIs. The opening sentences are very similar: ‘I remember... I remember’ and the description of a central exotic and unsettling character (and Conrad’s opening even has the ‘tap, tap, tap of a cane’ that reminds one of Blind Pew). The change of the title from Seraphina to Romance and the repetition of the word ‘romance’ in its opening and closing give overt signs of their aims, but Conrad and Ford’s accumulation of impressions differs from S’s concision, and their convoluted plot lacks S’s clear narrative structure.
When success came to Conrad with Chance in 1913 he felt more relaxed about taking inspiration from The Ebb-Tide for Victory (which also describes the watery death of Gentleman Jones in a way that reminds us of the body of Israel Hands underwater in TrIs.). Conrad’s bitter comments about Stevenson mask a grudging recognition that Stevenson was a better writer than he would publicly admit; as Ambrosini says, Stevenson can be seen as Conrad’s ‘secret sharer’.]
Duncan, Ian. ‘Stevenson’s Scotland: History and Topography in the Classroom’. In McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2013). 124-29.
[Ways of approaching S’s four novels set in the long 18C Scotland: in the context of historical documents (Menikoff), or of Scott. Kidnapped is in the Scott tradition (first-person protagonist with the Highland outlaw and cross-country escape), yet is also different: topography rather than history guides the story. Changing perspectives on Jacobite history can be seen across S’s three novels set in the 18C.]
Fielding, Penny (2013). ‘Scotland, Politics, Religion, Literature’. In McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2013). Approaches to Teaching the Works of Robert Louis Stevenson. 34-40.
[Studying S in the 19C literature course introduces romance and the historical novel. Waverley can usefully be compared with Ballantrae: different trajectories of historical plotting, Bal. lacking any unifying principle (like Enlightenment or progress). Bal. can also be compared with ch. 2 of Lammermoor: the broad historical panorama of Scott vs the lack of any sense of the structural forces of history in S. Other topics that can be covered: Calvinism (including Norqay’s idea of its influence on a theory of reading); popular rural storytelling (‘Thrawn Janet’), and the kailyard worlview of decency and kindliness, absent in S]
Fontana, Edoardo (2013). ‘Il bulino e la penna. Le xilografie di Robert Louis Stevenson e la Davos Press. Charta [Venezia] 127 (maggio 2013): 66-69.
[A bibliographical account of the ‘Davos Press’ and the poems and woodcuts by S for Lloyd’s toy printing press in Davos and later in Kingussie]
Frezza, Gino (2013). ‘Vivere appassionatamente, segretamente’. Flora de Giovanni (ed.). In difesa dell’illuminazione a gas. Milano: Mimesi Edizioni. 43-52.
[S’s ideas show his reactions to the modern era of great, unstoppable change in social forms and behaviour. S. doesn’t ask if we can be more/less happy: the only choice is to live intensely and passionately. Living in the unending movement of capitalism and technological innovation, he searches for some consistency in the dramatic experience of living. We must resolutely take part in life with the necessary audacity and readiness; the real treasure is the hope that moves desire and produces joy and makes living worthwhile. Imagination, courage, desire and hope are the mark of adventure—as an intimate dimension typical of modern existence among incessant change.]
Fulton, Richard D. and Peter H. Hoffenberg (eds.) (2013). Oceania and the Victorian Imagination. Farnham (UK) and Burlington (US): Ashgate.
[Papers on RLS by Manfredi, Ranum, Largeaud-Ortega and mentions of by other contributors]
Goldsmith, Jason. (2013). ‘Classroom and Courtroom across the Curriculum: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. In Caroline McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2013). 41-45.
[A ‘courtroom exercise’ for 1st-year seminar with some non-humanities students: the class debates if J is guilty of the crimes of H. Prosecution and defence groups assemble evidence from the text and present their case. Students examine accountability and personal identity and draw on specific evidence. ]
Graham, Lesley (2014). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The Young Chevalier”: Unimagined Space’. Allan I Macinnes, Kieran German and Lesley Graham (eds), Living with Jacobitism, 1690-1788: The Three Kingdoms and Beyond. London: Pickering & Chatto. 197-208.
[Stevenson started planning The Young Chevalier in January-March 1892 having done extensive preparatory reading about Jacobitism in books sent to him by Andrew Lang. The latter had given Stevenson the idea for the novel.’ S began writing in May but got no further than the prologue and part of the first chapter. The action of the novel, a love story, was to take place in the south of France around 1750. There are only four characters in the prologue: Francis Blair of Balmile; the Master of Ballantrae; Paradou, a wine-seller of Avignon and Marie-Madeleine, his wife. Graham examines S’s plans to write another Jacobite narrative and assesses the place of this fragment in Stevenson’s oeuvre]
Hames, Scott (2013). ‘Realism and Romance’. In McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2013). Approaches to Teaching the Works of Robert Louis Stevenson. 61-69.
[Teaching S’s participation in the ‘art of fiction’ debate of the 1880s, helps question (i) the novel’s ‘trueness to life’, and (ii) Whiggish literary history that excludes S. For James, fiction reproduces impressions of real life; for S it offers a lasting textual experience, and ‘an attention to the surface elements of the text’]
Hales, Sarah (2013). ʻFrom the Vaults: Jekyll and Hydeʼ. IET [Institute of Engineering and
Technology] Member News, March 2013: 26.
[The first membership list of the Society of Telegraph Engineers (1872) lists ʻHyde, H.ʼ and ʻJekyll, H.ʼ next to each other and two places below that the entry for ʻJenkin, F.ʼ. RLS could well have been consulting this document when preparing his memoir of Fleeming Jenkin, started in autumn 1885, the same period in which Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was written. (These observations are similar to those of Gillian Cookson published in articles in 1999 and 2003.)]
Hill, Richard J.. (2013). ‘The Pacific Story and the Indigenous Student: “The Bottle Imp” and “The Isle of Voices” ’. In Caroline McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2013). 184-8.
[Teaching ‘The Bottle Imp’ and ‘The Isle of Voices’ to students of Pacific communities. S’s empathy and humanity absent from most 19C colonial writing. He adopts indigenous modes of narration, motifs and world-view, but makes them universal by combining elements of Biblical parables and the Arabian Nights as well. Unusual audience: both Anglo-American and local. He includes local references (names, words). Protagonists are indigenous; whites are marginal and malicious; stories deal with the malicious influence of capitalism. They can be used to analyse and critique colonialism and to discuss the best way to deal with modern capitalistic culture.]
Hirsch, Gordon. (2013). ‘The Stevenson-Osbourne Collaboration’. In Caroline McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2013). 162-67.
[Questions to investigate about collaboration onThe Wrong Box, The Wrecker and The Ebb-Tide: motives, results, type and extent of collaboration, contribution from Osbourne. All three works are odd and unconventional: did collaboration have anything to do with this (or more S’s experiences in America and the South Seas)? Students could compare non-collaborative South Seas fiction by S and Osbourne: how do they deal with imperialism, indigenous cultures and sexuality?]
Hubbard, Tom (2013). ‘”The Accurst, the Tainted and the Innocent”: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and the Fragmentation of Personality in Late Victorian and Edwardian Scottish Fiction’. Margaret Sönser Breen (ed.). Critical Insights: Good and Evil. Ipswich, MA.: Salem Press. 175-189.
[The loose Victorian novel was replaced at the end of the century by shorter, more artistically-formed narratives. Simplistic morality had already been undermined in Hogg’s Justified Sinner. Much of S’s work aims to show that individuals and morals are complicated and contradictory – cf. his attractive villains. But does Mr Hyde have attractive qualities? (i) He is opposed to the conventional, hypocritical Jekyll – the type that we know S rebelled against; (ii) he is ‘hellish‘ but has ‘energy‘ – and ‘hellish energy‘ is admired in Crookback (Black Arrow) and the artist Loudon Dodd (The Wrecker). Hyde is in part the son rebelling against the father. JH can also been seen as a version of the Faust legend; a study of psychology; an allegory of class conflict. The ‘realist’ anti-kailyard novlists later explored psychological and socioeconomic determinism – at the end of John MacDougall Hay’s Gillespie (1914) the defeated Eoghan Strang confronts his mirror image in a mirror-image of a scene in JH: ‘That’s not me’]
Hubbard, Tom (2013). ‘The Scottish Fin-de-Siècle: a Case Study in Comparative Aesthetics’. Znanstveni kolokvij Sveučilišta u Rijeci / University of Rijeka Scientific Colloquium 2011/2012. Rijeka: University of Rijeka. 135-163.
[RLS in the context of his contemporaries and immediate literary successors (including James Thomson (B.V.), John Davidson, G.D. Brown and J.M. Hay) but the paper is also concerned with what was happening with reference also to the visual arts of the time (C. R. Mackintosh, Margaret Macdonald, the Glasgow Boys, John Duncan, G. D. Davidson). The material on RLS refers to New Arabian Nights, The Master of Ballantrae, and to his attitude to Baudelaire’s translations of Poe. The book is available online from the University of Rijeka; a more detailed version of the paper will appear in the conference book edited by Irena Grubica and Zdeněk Beran for Cambridge Scholars]
Hubbard, Tom (2013). ‘Mark Twain and Scotland’. Scottish Affairs 82 (Winter 2013): 119-138.
[The paper discusses Twain’s response to Jekyll and Hyde and the mutual admiration of the two writers]
Hultgren, Neil (2014). Melodramatic Imperial Writing. From the Sepoy Rebellion to Cecil Rhodes. Ohio University Press.
[Explores how melodrama was used both to construct and undermine the imperial story. Chapter 4, Stevenson’s Melodramatic Anthropology, focuses on Stevenson in Hawaii. ]
Jackson, Emily A. Bernhard (2013). ‘Stevenson’s Essays in the Composition Classroom’. In McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2013). Approaches to Teaching the Works of Robert Louis Stevenson. 195-98.
[S’s essays are interesting examples for the composition class: unusual conversational voice (following Hazlitt), yet pursues ideas tenaciously. An example of how to entertain as well as to teach. Uses fine prose for interesting sociological, anthropological and psychological studies]
Jolly, Roslyn (2013). ‘Stevenson's Pacific Transnarratives’. International Journal of Scottish Literature 9 (autumn/winter 2013), 5-25.
[A study of ‘The Song of Rahéro’ (1890)—traditional Tahitian story retold in English verse—and ‘The Bottle Imp’ (1891)—German folk-tale, transferred to the Pacific, written in English and then translated into Samoan. In both, translation goes beyond language and setting to genre and medium. In ‘Rahéro’, rather than Latin hexameters, the fixed number of beats, frequent caesuras and alliteration are reminiscent of ancestral Germanic verse-forms: a hybrid style adopted in an attempt to solve the problem of a modern literary ballad dealing with primitive societies. ‘The Bottle Imp’ deals with the contact zone of the modern Pacific. Exchange and infection can be seen as metaphors for the change and exchange operated by S on the story. Composition and transmission of both texts show that crossings (translation and adaptation) between languages, genres and media ‘are integral to the process of generating transnational literature’. More specifically, [...] these transnarratives provoke questions about the ways in which one national or regional literature may “host” another, with all the complexities and ambiguities of meaning that the metaphor of the host entails.’]
Katz, Wendy R. (2013). ‘The Jekyll and Hyde Class: Overcoming Strangeness’. In Caroline McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2013). 146-51.
[And obvious approach to JH is to examine the double, but it is important to get beyond this, and a focus on strangeness identifies an insistent keynote, as well as discouraging students from looking for easy interpretations. The text is opaque, ambiguous, indeterminate, complicated and puzzling in language and meaning. Strangeness can also be studied through gothic themes and motifs and through gender studies (the text’s unsettling maleness).]
Largeaud-Ortéga, Sylvie (2013). ‘A Scotsman’s Pacific: Shifting Identities in R. L. Stevenson’s Postcolonial Fiction’, International Journal of Scottish Literature 9 (Autumn / Winter 2013), 85-98. [Ways in which Stevenson addresses shifting forms of identity in three of his Pacific works of fiction: ‘The Isle of Voices’ (1893), ‘The Bottle Imp’ (1893), and The Ebb-Tide (1894). The three Pacific tales revisit and discard South Seas clichés and invert Western cultural hierarchies. In IoV and BI indigenous characters, including level-headed women, are centre stage in the search for a fertile cohabitation of indigenous tradition with inevitable Western presence. In ET, classical allusions show the inadequacy of Western civilization by associating his unprincipled adventurers to Aeneas,]
Largeaud-Ortega, Sylvie (2013). ʻWho's who in “The Isle of Voices?” How Victorian R. L.
Stevenson viewed Pacific islanders' perceptions of Victorians and of themselvesʼ: In
Richard D. Fulton and Peter H. Hoffenberg (eds.). Oceania and the Victorian Imagination.
Farnham (UK) and Burlington (US): Ashgate. Pp. 93-105.
[Stevenson expresses what he thought might have corresponded to the Pacific islandersʼ visions of the Victorians and of their own mutating identities; .depicts a mutating Pacific people that is torn between two cultures and drifts about in search of an identity that needs redefining after its fatal impact with the West. His impersonation of a Hawaiian society under Western hegemony is a multi-layered and deeply thought-provoking challenge to the questions of the relations between peoples, and calls for a redefinition of otherness.]
Largeaud-Ortega, Sylvie (2013). ‘Stevenson’s The Ebb Tide, or Virgil’s Aeneid Revisited: How Literature May Make or Mar Empires’. Victorian Literature and Culture 41.iii (Sep 2013): 561-593.
[S re-read Book VI of the Aeneid in 1889 and declared it a masterpiece: it can be seen as a palimpsest for The Ebb-Tide (where it is mentioned/alluded to ten times), in particular in its status as a founding text of Western imperialism. At the beginning both Herrick and his copy of Vergil are ‘tattered’; Davis of the ‘swift step’ functions as Mercury, summoning the hero to start. His meandering voyage resembles that of Aeneas, beset by disease, storms and threat of starvation. Davis, conducting the ship through the Dangerous Archipelago among memories of the dead, resembles Charon carrying Aeneas across the Styx. They arrive at the peaceful-looking ‘nemorosa Zacynthos’ (in both texts) and are interrogated by Attwater with Sphinx-like evasiveness.
The 18C Discoverers were also inspired by Vergil: Bouganville’s Voyage (1771) has an epigraph from the Aeneid, and he called Tahiti ‘New Cythera’ after the home of Venus; Wallace and Cook’s reports were re-written (1773) following this idyllic model. S breaks away from this tradition: Papeete is a ‘flash town’ with bad weather, a place of death and despair, bearing the mark of the West’s ‘fatal impact’.
E-T reproduces Aeneas's descent into the underworld in Book VI, but to produce a condemnation, not a eulogy, of empire. The Farallone seems to sail back into an allegorical past, reproducing the Discoverers’ journeys; New Island in beautiful, peaceful and perfect. But Herrick first meets the disturbing white figurehead, and, after being allowed to enter this underworld, his ‘father’ does not give him a prophecy about prolific progeny and the future Empire but shows him ‘old junk’ and sterility. The dinner underlines the imposed and alien culture that is being imposed on the island; Attwater is a slaver who denies rights to his labourers, as missionary he is a fanatic who acts as an agent of God. All this Herrick rejects. he remains an existential hero, who only believes in ‘the living horror of myself’. There is no conclusion, no answer, but an undermining of the ideology of imperialism.]
Lawrence, Adam. ‘ “Playing among the graves” in Colinton Manse: Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Scottish Gothic” Garden of Verses’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 10 (2013). 161-000.
[CGV has a darker side: illness, isolation and loss, and feelings of doubleness (the child voice sees itself as an inhabitant of an imaginary fairy world; childhood relived from an adult perspective) and a return to Scottish identity (Scottish supernatural creatures are mentioned, Colinton is a source of rejuvenation and return to Scottish roots).]
McClure, J. Derick (2013). ‘Stevenson and Scots’. In McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2013). Approaches to Teaching the Works of Robert Louis Stevenson. 48-53.
[Endangered state of Scots at the time; typical resignation to inevitable loss. S more dynamic: exuberant use of Scots vocabulary and nonce-elaborations; most accomplished practitioner of Scots since Burns]
McCracken-Flesher, Caroline (ed.) (2013). Approaches to Teaching the Works of Robert Louis Stevenson. New York: Modern Languages Association.
McCracken-Flesher, Caroline. (2013). ‘The American Journeys in the English Survey: Breaking down the Binaries’. In Caroline McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2013). 174-78.
[I get through conventional interpretations of The Amateur Emigrant (age vs youth, conservative Britain vs liberal America) by presenting S struggling with cultural and literary conventions: canonical literature, pressure from family and friends, readers’ expectations, publishers’ demands. S’s initial distant stance gradually weakens and he sees things less influenced by literary convention. The public expected the readable and amusing flâneur: the passages excised by Colvin conflict with this stance. ]
Manfredi, Carla (2013). ‘Pacific phantasmagorias: Robert Louis Stevenson’s Pacific photography’. Richard D. Fulton and Peter H. Hoffenberg (eds.). Oceania and the Victorian Imagination. 11-30.
[A study of In the South Seas as a photographic-text. By aligning Stevenson’s Pacific photography with its intended textual accompaniment, Manfredi re-reads In the South Seas as a work of photo-literature, a text which merges the pseudo-documentary with self-reflexive photographs. S’s photographs are more than mere 19C documentary artifacts:, theyt can also be seen as proto-modernist visual representations of the Pacific. Since these photographs have yet to be published with their intended text – to this day In the South Seas remains fragmented – critics continue to misread a primacy of the text over the photographs, while S would have seen the two media as complementary]
Mathews, Catherine. ‘Charting the foreigner at home: contemporary newspaper reports of Robert Louis Stevenson in Samoa, New Zealand and Australia 1890-1894’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 10 (2013). 87-128.
[Review of S in Samoan, Australian and New Zealand newspapers with generous quotations: shipping columns (for his arrivals and departures), over a dozen lengthy interviews in which he talks of literature and controversial matters (home and Samoan politics, forced labour etc.), and memories of those who met him published later. Newspapers knew stories about S would be of interest and S also used newspapers for his own ends.]
Maxwell, Anne (2013). ‘Building Friendships: “Civility” and “Savagery” in R.L. Stevenson’s The Beach of Falesá and The Ebb-Tide’. International Journal of Scottish Literature 9 (Autumn / Winter 2013), 38-50.
[‘It was Stevenson’s view that if anyone deserved the title ‘civilized’ it was not the Europeans who were in the Pacific to save souls or make money, but the large number of islanders whose lives and lifestyles they were inadvertently destroying in the process.’ The first chapter of In the South Seas opposes any hierarchy of races (typical of social-Darwinism). BF and ET follow in the wake of S’s Pacific nonfiction [cf. Zulli above]. For S, the decline of civilized behaviour among Europeans was caused by focus on the individual and making money, and a classification of ‘sympathy’ as weak and feminine. In addition the imperialistic desire to dominate other people and cultures was eroding the capacity for moral behaviour. S’s stories were not designed merely to entertain, but to debate what is good and bad conduct. The move to the Pacific did not result in a new direction to his writing [perhaps a reference to Jolly, Stevenson in the Pacific (2009)], but ‘enabled him to continue studying [...] his life long subject – the moral failings as well as strengths of humanity as a whole’.]
Murfin, Audrey (2013. ‘“Part Alive, Part Putrescent”: Coral, Culture, and Contagion in the Island Writings of Robert Louis Stevenson.” Victorians Institute Journal 40 (2012): 33-56.
[In In the South Seas (1896), S wrestles with ideas of purity and porous boundaries, using both Darwin’s descriptions of the geological structure of coral islands, and his own observations of quarantine, as metaphors for the islanders’ resistance—or lack of resistance—to contagions both epidemiological and cultural]
Naugrette, Jean-Pierre (2013). ‘Ciné-Hyde’. Critique 795-796 (‘Cinélittérature’): 654-664.
[JH explores the unconscious (in the story of its dream origin, dreamlike scenes and symbolic spaces of 'theatre' and housetop room). Utterson's dream in two parts: (i) memory of the trampling incident and a vision of Jekyll being woken by a monster (a revisitation of Ch. 5 of Frankenstein); (ii) a nightmare of Hyde in labyrinthine London trampling a girl at every corner. This dream is like 'a scroll of lighted pictures': which can be interpreted as kaleidoscope phantasmagory, or anticipation of film (S' literary 'cinématisme' has often been remarked on). Jekyll goes to a mirror after the first transformation—J projects H onto a mirror-screen (cf the subjective sequence on Mamoulian's film and the turn to the mirror); like the first actors for cinema he realizes that in projecting the Other he represents himself.]
Naugrette, Jean-Pierre (2013). ‘“Such ecstasies of recognition”: R. L. Stevenson’s “Ordered South” (1874) as Riviera Requiem’. Claire Davison, Béatrice Laurent, Caroline Patey and Nathalie Vanfasse (eds.). Provence and the British Imagination. Milano: Ledizioni (di/segni 5). 131-142.
[(i) Like other writers, S describes the arrival in the South of Europe from the North in terms of of slight signs perceived, and then as immersed in a rush of sensations. (ii) In trying to convey impressions, he admits the inadequacy of words. Imitating painting, he is balanced between points of colour (Impressionism) and masses (anticipating Cubism). This then leads to an intellectual analysis of how the mind creates a picture. (iii) The essay is also about ‘coming home, recollection and recognition (‘the whole scene fell before me into order and I was at home’, L1, 362): pre-Proustian recovery of the past, Wordsworthian link with childish wonder, and entry of the spirit its rightful ‘estate’. Yet ‘home’ (a word often used in the essay) is also cold Scotland, and a metaphor for the grave.]
Norquay, Glenda (2013). ʻAmerican Literary Contextsʼ. In Caroline McCracken-Flesher (ed.). Approaches to Teaching the Works of
Robert Louis Stevenson. New York: Modern Languages Association. 41-47.
[Sʼs participation in transatlantic debate over fiction; S interested in patterning of the significant; students can compare the subtle differences with James (and cruder positions of Besant and Howells). Like Hawthorne and others his fiction reflects a conflictual relationship with strict Calvinistic education. His interest in American writers; later American writers influenced by S.]
Oliver, Susan. ‘Stevenson as Transatlantic Romanticism’. In McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2013). 130-34.
[Advice for teaching Ballantrae in a course of ‘Translatlantic Studies’: spread of myth, literature and cultural stereotypes across the Atlantic. Two strands of Scottish myth (Puritan and adventurer) carried across the Atlantic in the novel. Secundra Dass, old and ill, could symbolize the doomed past (as in Scott) and an alien danger, and links up with the dying Indian in American literature.]
Planer, Nigel. ‘Death of Long Pig’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 10 (2013). 186-198.
[A memoir of Planer’s interest in Stevenson, his visit to Samoa and the writing and production of his play on Stevenson and Gauguin ‘Death of Long Pig’.]
Ranum, Ingrid (2013). ‘At home in the Empire: domesticity and masculine identity in Almayer’s Folly and “The Beach of Falesá”’. Richard D. Fulton and Peter H. Hoffenberg (eds.). Oceania and the Victorian Imagination. 107-120.
[Wiltshire in Falesá accepts domaestic mesculinity, while Conrad's Almayer is unable to adapt]
Riach, Alan. (2013). ‘Stevenson’s Short Stories in the Creative Writing Classroom’. In Caroline McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2013). 189-94
[In creative writing classes works are read without context to examine techniques and see what can be learned from them. S’s short stories combine oral storytelling with literary artifice. ‘Thrawn Janet’ uses a contrast of standard English and Scots. These narratives can also stimulate adaptations, similar narratives, narratives inspired by them, writing to show how literature enables us to understand reality. ]
Richardson, Thomas (2013). ‘The Essays and the Periodicals’. In McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2013). Approaches to Teaching the Works of Robert Louis Stevenson. 117-123.
[Ways of teaching Sʼs essays. Relations with periodical publication – hundreds of new magazines in second half of 19C – more focussed on literary content and with a wider readership than before. Cornhill probably the most important magazine of the time – S published 23 works there – he also published short stories and poems in magazines. Memories and Portraits selected and shaped: difference between periodical and book publication. Introduction to Familiar Studies: biographical theory. RT uses Sʼs essays to explore Scottish national identity, and in a survey of Victorian literature (the importance of the essay for Victorian writers and S’s role in periodical literature; the essays on writing and childhood imagination in a study of Victorian ideas of fiction and also on the development of children’s literature).]
Rush, Leslie S.. (2013). ‘Young Adult Novels for English Secondary Education Students’. In Caroline McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2013). 179-83.
[Using S’s ‘young adult’ novels, Treasure Island and Kidnapped in training teachers: they combine the difficulty of of classic texts with engaging stories for adolescents. Teaching techniques using these texts: theme sets, reading logs, gallery walk.]
Stiles, Anne. (2013). ‘Jekyll and Hyde as Science Fiction’. In Caroline McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2013). 152-56
[JH belongs less to American pulp ‘science fiction’ 1937-50 and more to British ‘scientific romance’ 1880s-1940 with its emphasis on evolutionary narratives; it also has elements of ‘scientific fantasy’ with its alchemical rather than chemical elements. But JH also contains realistic elements and appropriates scientific discourses of evolution and psychology, in particular feared atavism (though S more interested in the dangers of the resultant repression and hypocrisy). More relevant than Freudianism as context is evolutionary psychology, dual brain theory and dual consciousness. JH can be seen as medical case study where the hubristic physician becomes patient. ]
Tulloch, Graham (2013). ‘Colonialism and Postcolonialism’. In McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2013). Approaches to Teaching the Works of Robert Louis Stevenson. 76-82.
[S gives a voice to indigenous people. Falesá: Wiltshire is a cultural hybrid. Ebb: parody of an imperial adventure story. May be usefully compared with Heart of Darkness. Scottish fiction can also be studied for a quasi-colonial situation (cf. Jolly’s study of Catriona and the letters to the Times about Samoa)]
Veeser, H. Aram. ‘Boys’ Adventure and the Allure of Violence in the Postcolonialism Class: Treasure Island’. In McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2013). 135--40.
[Postcolonial analyses of TrIs focus on power and violence. Characters are divided into normal and exotic others. Masochistic elements in Jim’s account (constraint and binding) hint at aims to defeat by moral superiority. But the gentlemen have no more right to the treasure than the others: the book has no ethical stance. Bones and Blackbeard are praised by normal characters as types of English power at sea. TrIs is uncertainly pro-imperial or anti-colonial. Power also obtained through rhetoric: Livesey (official intellectual) vs Silver (new intellectual).]
Watson, Roderick (2013). ‘Modernism’. In McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2013). Approaches to Teaching the Works of Robert Louis Stevenson. 69-75.
[S’s works can be used to examine the structure and themes of modernist writing and the way S anticipates some of them. Frequent ambiguity and opacity (even at the ending of Treasure Island). Ballantrae undermines adventure romance and focusses on absurdity and meaninglessness – reflected in the ‘nausea’ of ‘Pulvis et Umbra’ The Ebb-Tide is a modernist masterpiece, a critique of colonial reality and an expose of universal hollowness, a narrative with unfathomable meaning with no closure]
Wickman, Matthew. (2013). ‘Jekyll and Heidegger: Stevenson in the Theory Classroom’. In Caroline McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2013). 204-8.
[JH develops in multiple threads, describes radically divided existence, while Jekyll’s narrative attempts to give coherence to them. Theory today involves complex negotiation of discourses and bridge-building. A seminar on Heidegger as crime fiction: focussing on misdeed (forgetting being), and conspiracy (ubiquity of metaphysics). In JH, division is a general condition, like modern loss of being.]
Williams, Rosalind (2013). The triumph of human empire : Verne, Morris, and Stevenson at the end of the world. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
[How Verne, Morris, and Stevenson reacted to bewildering progress of science and technologies, experimenting with romance and fantasy not as escapism, but to express their growing awareness of the need for a new relationship between humans and Earth. Part Three is devoted to RLS: ‘Romantic Engineering and Engineering Romance’, ‘Two Voyages: Inland Waterways and High Seas’, ‘Worlds of Wonder and Problematic Shores’, ‘The Romance of Destiny’. S’s ‘art precedes...science’ and ‘is the pioneer of knowledge’. S’s grasp of the global effects of technological change ‘seems to have emerged as he journeyed first to America by steamship and then across the United States by train [...]. The trip appears to have been an epiphany for Stevenson, as he realized how many of the world’s travelers were not journeying by choice, but as migrants displaced by a rapidly globalizing economy’ (Peter Dizikes).6 Like Verne and Morris, S did not see history as progress but as a kind of ‘rolling apocalypse’.]
Wilson, Fiona (2013). ‘Gender and genre’. In McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2013). Approaches to Teaching the Works of Robert Louis Stevenson. 89-95.
[S participates in a cultural ferment questioning prescribed gender roles. The New Arabian Nights: parody of middle-class masculinity, borders on camp. ‘The Pavilion on the Links’ involves an equivocal relationship between two men in a liminal and lawless space]
Yamamoto Taku (2013). ‘Appropriating Robert Louis Stevenson: Nakajima Atsushi in Pre-War Japan’. International Journal of Scottish Literature 9 (Autumn / Winter 2013), 68-84.
[Nakajima Atsushi’s Light, Wind, and Dreams (1942) is an intertextual narrative of alternate first-person chapters of Stevenson on Samoa and chapters of Nakajimaʼs own Samoan diary. Nakajima was mapping his own lonely feelings and experience on those of Stevenson; like Stevenson he is critical of exploitative colonialism yet hopeful of a benevolent form of it. But this message was also received as in line with pre-war Japanese propaganda of supporting local peoples against white intruders, aided by Stevenson’s status in Japanese culture as a contemporary and symbolic hero.]
Abrahamson, Robert-Louis (2012). ʻ“The essays must fall from me”: an outline of Stevensonʼs career as an essayistʼ. Journal of Stevenson Studies 9: 9-41.
[RLSʼs career as an essayist. Colvin introduced S to Leslie Stephen, editor of the Cornhill, an important magazine with many contributors in the Savile Club, that gave him more scope in subject and style than the Portfolio. RLS published 20 essays there adopting the persona of the lively, bohemian free spirit. The trip to America 1879-80 leads to a change in the essays: more sober, fewer flourishes of style, more attention to cultural intolerance and a greater autobiographical element. Yet he continued publishing essays as before on his return; the real break comes in 1882 after the publication of two volumes of essays, the break with the Cornhill and the publication of Treasure Island. The Scribnerʼs Magazine essays, his last intense moment of essay-writing, are a mixture of essay types – autobiographical, ethical and aesthetic.]
Abrahamson, Robert-Louis (2012). ‘“Truth out of Tusitala spoke”: Stevenson’s Voice in Post-Darwinian Christianity’. Suzanne Bray, William Gray (eds.). Persona and Paradox: Issues of Identity for C.S. Lewis, His Friends and Associates. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 237-54.
[The Christian conversions of Chesterton and C.S. Lewis were in part shaped by Stevenson’s religious struggles. The young S rejected rigid, joyless, ‘respectable’ Christianity. At first, popular with literary and artistic friends for his witty remarks against religion, in his late 20s he turned towards morality and ethics: in an incomprehensible world a sense of the divine is felt in troubles and struggle. His tolerance of Christianity grew in the 1880s, and, while still sceptical of dogma and rules, he recognised small insights of the divine: the world is ‘little lit, tumultuous’ and we have only very little understanding of it; Christ (for him a teacher and model) should be followed in sympathetic understanding of the spirit not through rules and doctrine; we have a duty to make others happy, and to accept inevitable defeat with the joy of the active soldier, the ‘joy to endure’.]
Ashley, Katherine (2012). [Review] Richard Ambrosini and Richard Dury (eds.) (2009).
European Stevenson. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. International Review of Scottish Studies 37: 144-46.
[ʻBy changing the critical perspective [...] it becomes clear that Stevenson was an author whose writings challenged cultural, literary, and generic stereotypes of his dayʼ. Ashley praises in particular Ambrosiniʼs ʻsweeping and erudite inquiry into Stevensonʼs place in European literary historyʼ, Giroudʼs study of Stevenson and Jean Cocteau and Barefootʼs ʻthought-provokingʼ study of film adaptations of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde focussing on Borowczykʼs Docteur Jekyll et les femmes. She also mentions Naugretteʼs analysis of onomastics, Sandisonʼs ʻstudy of aesthetic similarities between Stevenson and Proust (the role of the past and art in creating a sense of self)ʼ, and Rizzoʼs ʻlongoverdue comparative analysis of comic-strip adaptations of Jekyll and Hydeʼ.]
Buckton, Oliver (2012). '”It Touches One Too Closely”: Robert Louis Stevenson and Queer
Theoryʼ. Anglistik: International Journal of English Studies 23(2) (Sep 2012).
[Concealment, ʻunspeakableʼ behaviour, and class transgression in Jekyll and Hyde can be mapped onto late-Victorian homosexuality. Queer desire is also suggested by close male pairing and violence (Henry and James Durie, Case and Wiltshire) as well as by the admiration of Herrick for Attwater, and the tender caring of David Balfour and Alan Breck. Homosexual panic and guilt can also be mapped onto the concealment antics with the corpse in The Wrong Box, and the corporality in Donkey and the narratorʼs guilt about his violence. Sʼs texts challenge gender and also genre: they question sexual identities (Prince Ottoʼs androgyny) and literary categories (Prince Ottoʼs identity between historical fantasy, romantic adventure and political critique).]
Braidwood, Alistair (2012). ʻWeʼre All Henry Jekyllʼs Bairns: Robert Louis Stevensonʼs
Enduring Influence on Scottish Literatureʼ. The Bottle Imp 12 (Nov 2013).
[Scottish literature often interpreted in terms of exploration of dualities. JH in particular has been an influence—with its complex additional concerns about morality, guilt, responsibility, addiction and the aesthetics of evil—on a number of Scottish novels: Duncan McLeanʼs Bunker Man, Kevin MacNeilʼs A Method Actorʼs Guide to Jekyll and Hyde and Irvine Welshʼs Filth and others. But S goes beyond stereotypes such as dualism: modern writers should try to understand his wider scope.]
Brown, Neil Macara (2012). ʻHad their day: Robert Louis Stevensonʼs Popular Authorsʼ.
Journal of Stevenson Studies 9: 171-205.
[Stevensonʼs reading of popular authors (Cassellʼs Family Paper, highwayman stories, the writers discussed in ʻPopular Authorsʼ), and planned and finished works connected with popular genres. Bio- bibliographical information about the ʻPopular Authorsʼ. Striking scenes that may have inspired his later writing, and identification for the first time of all four memorable scenes mentioned in ʻA Gossip on Romanceʼ. The attraction of these ʻpopular authorsʼ for Stevenson: the memorable ʻpicturesʼ they create in the memory, their similarity to the Arabian Nights tales and their therapeutic qualities.]
Buckton, Oliver (2012). review of The Edinburgh Companion to Robert Louis Stevenson
(Edinburgh UP, 2010). Victorian Studies (54/3, Spring 2012): 539-41.
[Shows the diversity of Sʼs work; Scottish Stevenson is well represented (Duncan and Lumsden); and the collection places S in the context of late-Victorian discourses and literary genres (Arata on S and late-Victorian gothic). An interesting attention to the previously-neglected Wrecker in several essays. However, the volume does not cover drama, essays or biographies, letters and critical studies of Stevenson; nor does it engage much with contemporary theoretical discourses such as postcolonial theory or queer theory.]
Colley, Ann C. (2012). [Review:] Penny Fielding, ed., The Edinburgh Companion to Robert Louis
Stevenson. 2010. Nineteenth Century Literature, V. 66(5): 555-58.
[ʻBy immersing the reader in a fragmentary, transient, and even senseless world that defies the unities of time, place, and action, Stevenson [...] promises [...] no ʻrevealed symbolic totalityʼ [...]. He “holds out no assurance that [the] parts will add up to make a whole” (p. 26)ʼ. [...] For most of the contributors [...] Stevenson is a writer who composes outside defined traditions, who is diverse and moves restlessly among literary forms. For some he reflects the “disjointed” conditions of modern life (p. 23) [...] Other contributors speak of Stevenson as a writer who is not always reassuring; he offers no closure, only fragmentation and uncertainty.ʼ ʻAnyone wanting to reflect upon Stevensonʼ s work should spend time with these essays.ʼ]
Danahay, Martin (2012).'Richard Mansfield, “Jekyll and Hyde” and the History of Special Effects’ in Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film 32:9 (Winter 2012): 54-72.
Di Frances, Christy Danelle (2012). ‘R.L. Stevenson’s ‘Most Grim and Gloomy Tale’: The Ebb-Tide as Deconstruction of Colonial Adventure Narrative’. Transnational Literature [Flinders University] 5.i. Online.
[In ET, S reworks adventure-story conventions, thereby subverting colonial ideology. The expected crew of heroes are rogues, examples of ordinary evil. Attwater, in contrast, is an example of extraordinary, even semidivine evil. Typically of S, adventure is always open to transformation into a nightmarish version of itself, as here of pervasive villainy and dissorder (with a redemptive possibility for Herrick at the end).]
Dossena, Marina (2012). ‘Vocative and diminutive forms in Robert Louis Stevenson’s fiction: a corpus-based study’. International Journal of English Studies 12(2): 1-17.
[A study of diminutive names (‘Davie’ etc.) and vocative forms (‘boy’, ‘man’ etc.) in S’s works. S switches between (and coalesces) Scots and (Scottish) Standard English, being more interested in expressiveness than language purity. The study focusses on the sequence of name followed by vocative ‘man’ etc., much more frequently found written without intervening comma as a single syntactic-intonational group; and discusses the crux of ‘Davie, lad’ in the first edition of Kidnapped vs ‘Davie lad’ in the MS.]
Dryden, Linda (2012). ʻRobert Louis Stevenson is Celebrated at Edinburgh Napier
Universityʼ. The Bottle Imp 12 (Nov 2013).
[The new RLS website, launched 2009 thanks to Carnegie Trust grant; contains many interesting features, including the archive of photographs in The Writerʼs Museum, virtual books of Sʼs works, back issues of the Journal of Stevenson Studies. The website has been a catalyst for other things: the donation of books (including the Ernest and Joyce Mehew Library), and the active promotion of Edinburghʼs RLS Day every 13 November.]
Dury, Richard (2012). ʻStevensonʼs essays: language and styleʼ. Journal of Stevenson Studies 9: 43-91.
[RLS was a new voice in the 1870s, an essayist who didnʼt follow the serious and emphatic styles of mid-Victorian sages but wrote sceptical essays with constantlychanging viewpoint, varied with persona anecdotes, brief narratives, imaginary dialogues, hints of stories and addresses to the reader. His style is examined in relation to a few broad characteristics: Lightness, Enthusiasm, Variousness, Playfulness, Strangeness,and ʻCharmʼ. His style is irregular and changing, like his idea of the ʻknotʼ, both temporary halt and the meeting point of strands; reading his essays, the reader is involved in a mutable and memorable reading experience.]
Dury, Richard (2012). ʻStevensonʼs Shifting Viewpointʼ. The Bottle Imp 12 (Nov 2013).
[For S, we live in a flux of perceptions with no stable viewpoint. He doesnʼt use set-piece descriptions but fragmentary annotations in which focus changes between far/near and then/now, representing perception as fluid and unstable and phenomena as constantly changing.]
Evans, Dewi (2012). ʻStevenson in Scribnerʼs: ethics and romance in the literary marketplaceʼ. Journal of Stevenson Studies 9: 149-170.
[A study of connected and contrasting ethical and aesthetic ideas in earlier essays and how they are consolidated in the Scribnerʼs series, with particular attention to the writer in the literary marketplace. RLS was aware of market forces following his reception in the USA as a star. While in ʻFontainebleauʼ (1884) he had had emphasized the artistʼs apprenticeship, in ʻPopular Authorsʼ and ʻA Letter...ʼ (1888) he deals with the inevitable need to please readers. This involves use of conventions, also justified on aesthetic grounds since, representation being impossible, the writer has to aim at ʻsignificant simplicityʼ. Ethical and aesthetic thoughts overlap: fictional narrative cannot represent the whole truth and moral precepts cannot guide conduct – in both cases, reality is too personal and various.]
Fielding, Penny (2012). ʻThe New Edinburgh Edition of the Collected Works of Robert
Louis Stevensonʼ The Bottle Imp 12 (Nov 2013).
[The NEE will be using the most authoritative early edition as copy text as a general rule, but the choice will not be automatic because the conditions of publication changed as S moved around the world; difficult cases: Ebb-Tide, Amateur Emigrant, Weir; the essays; collaboration with other institutions.]
Graham, Lesley (2012). ʻThe reception of Stevensonʼs essaysʼ. Journal of Stevenson
Studies 9: 313-342.
[Stevensonʼs essays were praised both for style and content and some thought his fame would be as an essayist. After his death his essays were adopted as a model in US college writing courses. Then after WWI, the essay declines in literary prestige, and eventually Stevensonʼs essays disappeared from the critical map. Gradual reinstatement starts with Furnas (1951). There was an increase in translations of the essays in the 1980s and 1988 saw three essays anthologies (Le Bris, Almansi and Treglown). Literary critics still tend to use the essays as sources for comments on his fiction rather than study them in their own right. Both in the period after his death and now in the social-media age, the essays are also quarried for isolated aphorisms.]
Hayes, Timothy (2012). ʻ“Not so childish as it seems”: Stevensonʼs interrogation of
childishness in the South Seasʼ. Journal of Stevenson Studies 9: 291-312.
[Sʼs early 70s essays show a nostalgic detachment from childhood, but later he adds ideas of continuity, especially in imaginative life. In the South Seas ʻessaysʼ he defends or explains ʻchildishʼ behaviour such as superstition or an openness to persuasion by magic-lantern images. Towards the end of the collection he begins to see ʻchildishnessʼ as possibly deliberate behaviour, ʻcourtly artʼ displayed towards the travellers. He reports on the childishness of Tembinokʼ but then reports his own childish awe at the magical creation of ʻEquator Cityʼ.]
Hayward, Jennifer (2012). ʻ“The Foreigner at Home”: The Travel Essays of Robert Louis Stevensonʼ. Journal of Stevenson Studies 9: 233-270.
[In the 1870s, S had already created a complex, self-conscious viewer, exploring dualities and unstable viewpoints. The New World essays saw the development of new thematic depth: direct involvement with others, writing with social critique rather than aesthetic distance. He adds historical complexity and human individuality to the picture and a new-found empathy (he is no longer the ironic flâneur of the earlier essays).The change in mind-style through his New World experiences is noted by himself and reviewers and leads to ʻThe Foreigner at Homeʼ (1882) and subsequent narratives of a stranger in an alien land, intersecting inner and outer landscapes and a narrative persona in uncanny locations.]
Hill, Richard (2012). ʻStevenson in the Magazine of Artʼ. Journal of Stevenson Studies 9:
[The six essays RLS wrote for Henleyʼs Magazine of Art 1882-4, though apparently diverse are linked in their explorations of (i) relationships between the visual arts and literature, (ii) the possibilities of an illustrated text (he had recently experimented with text and picture combinations in Moral Emblems and was considering the illustration of A Childʼs Garden and Treasure Island), and (iii) the importance of childhood memories and the imagination in the creative process.]
Jones, Duncan (2012), ʻThe Unreliable Narratorʼ. ʻThe Only Art is to
Omitʼ [editorial]. The Bottle Imp 12 (Nov 2013).
[Praises S as great ʻliterary artistʼ, creator of ʻprecise, almost impalpable proseʼ, whose reputation suffered because his work ʻfailed to fit within the modern structures of literary criticismʼ (while at the same time celebrated by Borges and Calvino). Now S is receiving merited recognition as an artist both proudly Scottish and international.]
Katz, Wendy R. (2013). ‘The Jekyll and Hyde Class: Overcoming Strangeness’. In Caroline McCracken-Flesher (ed.) (2013). 146-51.
[And obvious approach to JH is to examine the double, but it is important to get beyond this, and a focus on strangeness identifies an insistent keynote, as well as discouraging students from looking for easy interpretations. The text is opaque, ambiguous, indeterminate, complicated and puzzling in language and meaning. Strangeness can also be studied through gothic themes and motifs and through gender studies (the text’s unsettling maleness).]
Largeaud-Ortega, Sylvie (2012). Ainsi Soit-Île: Littérature et anthropologie dans les contes
des mers du sud de Robert Louis Stevenson. Paris: Honoré Champion. 632 pp.
[A study (elegantly written) of Sʼs ʻSouth Sea talesʼ as literature and anthropology by a scholar who lives in Polynesia – so able to understand the many cultural and linguistic connections made by an author intensely interested in understanding his new home and in sympathetically understanding the inhabitants, their perception of the world, and of the white interlopers. Chapter II examines the ʻmyth of the South Seasʼ as a context for The Ebb-Tide. Chapters III and IV look at colonialism from the Western point-of-view, and (in ʻThe Bottle Impʼ and ʻThe Isle of Voicesʼ) as seen through the eyes of native inhabitants. Chapter V examines Sʼs view of Oceaniaʼs future through his strong female characters, Kokua, Lehua and Uma. The following chapter looks a new kind of Westerner, Wiltshire and Herrick, both searching for a solution to existential problems. The final chapter deals with multiple voices: narrators, the author (and self-conscious artifice); cultural and linguistic multiplicity; the presence of Polynesian languages and in Beach-la-Mar.]
Léger-St-Jean, Marie (2012). ʻ“Long for the penny number and weekly woodcutʼ: Stevenson on reading and writing popular romanceʼ. Journal of Stevenson Studies 9: 207-232.
[A comparative reading of papers on popular literature by Rymer (1842) and Stevenson (1888). Rymer discusses despised ʻpopularʼ writing of the circulating libraries, the power of fashion in reading choice and two popular genres of silver-fork epistolary novels and horror tales. S has a more ambivalent attitude, seeing popular authors as supplying readersʼ imaginations with an embodiment of their daydreams and images that stimulate further dreaming. In contrast, contemporary realism concentrates on sordid details, and fails to recognise the centrality of the imaginative life.]
Melville, David (2012). ʻTempting the Angels — “Olalla” as Gothic Vampire Narrativeʼ. The Bottle Imp 12 (Nov 2013).
[ʻOlallaʼ, artful and ambiguous, rather forgotten. The hero seems complicit in the supernatural context, has a vaguely homo-erotic bond with Felipe; is Olalla a potential vampire (following her mother)? Most disturbing: complicit vampiric bond between Olalla and the narrator (makes us question the narrative itself).]
Menikoff, Barry (2012) ʻStevenson on Styleʼ. The Bottle Imp 12 (Nov 2013).
[S was widely admired for his style, but ʻstyleʼ is difficult to define and contemporary critics not interested in it. Sʼs 1885 essay on style as a technical device. Section 1 is on ʻchoice of wordsʼ. Section 2 is on ʻthe webʼ: all arts are made up of patterns, in literature there will be an intricate ʻknotʼ which delays and is noticed by the reader: form is conceived as a whole, self-contained. Pattern and argument are woven together; to achieve this, the argument must have a certain simplicity: ʻbrevity, clearness, charm, or emphasisʼ. Sʼs style is marked by an absence of excess (e.g. Falesá), like that of Modernism. He turned away from the essay because it was too familiar in tone and too loose in style. In this essay, S sees art ʻas an intellectual activity, that requires the deepest concentration and the most accomplished skillʼ; ʻthe complexity of the prose is a mirror of the artʼ.]
Norquay, Glenda (2012). 'Robert Louis Stevenson'. Oxford Bibliographies
[an on-line resource distributed mainly to libraries and other institutions. The Introduction and section on General Overviews are open to all – the other sections by subscription.]
Rankin, Ian (2012). ʻRobert Louis Stevensonʼ (in the ʻMy Heroʼ series). Guardian 8 June
[Brief article a the series of inspirational figures. Rankin appreciated Sʼs emphasis on the mysterious and dark side of life. He is a ʻtantalisingʼ writer, whose prose is both ʻvibrant and healingʼ.]
Robson, Andrew (2012). ʻStevenson as sympathetic essayistʼ. Journal of Stevenson Studies 9: 271-290.
[S shows a sensitivity to the feelings of servants (ʻNursesʼ, ʻAn Old Scotch Gardenerʼ) in early essays. In later essays he reacts with empathy to the situation of African Americans and American Indians in the USA, of Hawaiians and Samoans dispossessed of land, and of Mexicans in California; and he is appalled by the attitude of fellow emigrants to the Chinese. He periodically took up the cause of the oppressed and maltreated: the victims of Fenian violence, the Boers, Father Damien. In the Pacific, he criticizes the whites and sees the natives as the ʻonly gentle folkʼ, helped in his understanding by parallels between colonial administrations and the history of Scotland.]
Reid, Julia (2012) ʻ“[N]ewspaper like in style, and not worthy of R.L.S.”: Robert Louis Stevensonʼs The Amateur Emigrantʼ. The Bottle Imp 12 (Nov 2013).
[Why did AmEm distress Sʼs friends and family? (i) Identifies with working class (though he also reminds himself of his distance from them); (ii) discredits heroic emigration myth (sees it due to economic hardship, plus personal failure and weakness); (iii) but most important problem for contemporaries: focus on squalor combined with democratic rhetoric, the breaking of the bounds of class and literary genre (too like newspaper reporting) — the cuts made were references to dirt, disease and inter-class contact.]
Stevenson, Robert Louis (ed. J.F.M. Russell) (2012). Complete musical compositions and
arrangements. Evanston : JfmR. 180 pp, 2 CDs.
[Stevenson began developing his musical interests in 1886 by learning the piano and later the flageolet. His study of harmony and composition resulted in over 120 arrangements of art songs and folk music, as well as a number of original compositions for voice and for various instruments, including piano, flageolet and clarinet. The songs are settings of his own verse; Air de Diabelli, Come my Little Children, Ditty, My ship and I, Over the Sea to Skye, Spaewife, Stormy Evening, Tempest Tossed, Wandering Willie, and We have Lived and Loved.
Anyone interested in obtaining a copy should contact the author at jfm.russell@musicof- robert-louis-stevenson.org.]
Thomson, Alex (2012). ʻFamiliar style in Memories and Portraitsʼ. Journal of Stevenson Studies 9: 119-147.
[Memories and Portraits is a collection (arranged with an idea of unity and sequence) of ʻfamiliar essaysʼ that explores autobiography, memorial and the consequences of pervasive inherited memory. The ʻfamiliar essayʼ is associated with scepticism and humanism, emphasizing the limitations of knowledge in the flux of sense impressions. It also shares in the exploratory nature of conversation, generator of fresh experience, and is associated with a self-conscious interest in style, a reflection on subjectivity, which makes the essay an experiment on the self. There was a Scottish tradition of reminiscences made poignant by disappearing Scottish culture; MP adds to this a view of the flux and mutability of life. The selfreflexive subjectivity of the essay creates a critical distance from the subject and an awareness of human experience as finite and ephemeral.]
Abrahamson, Robert-Louis (2011). ʻ“Of all men the most clubbable"? RLS at the Savile
Club and the Cornhill Magazineʼ. Journal of Stevenson Studies 8: 125-42.
[A study of the 1870s essayist. RLS is often presented as the ideal member of the Savile Club (from 1874) and of the Cornhill group (1874-82), the amusing and charming conversationalist and elegant bohemian rebel. Yet he was not totally at ease among the English, with their ʻtree-like self-sufficiencyʼ, educated in the classics – perhaps connected with a major theme of the essays in the late 70s and early 80s: failure of communication.
ʻVirginibus Puerisqueʼ (1876) is typical of the 1870s essays in its lively conversational style. For S (in ʻTalk and Talkersʼ, 1882), conversation is a way of sharing company in a game, and we can see his essays in the same light: calling for the readerʼs response and the entering into a game. In ʻVPʼ, the opening Baconian aphorism is challenging; then the voice takes on the relaxed scepticism of Montaigne. The language is part of the game that we respond to: S chooses the not-quite-right word to keep our attention and make us recover the meaning.
There is a section of ʻsilly jestingʼ where he considers the best profession for a husband, then a shift of tone from Lamb to Carlyle, with Biblical imagery and appeals to the emotions. No longer the wildly playful conversationalist, he is the compassionately ironic onlooker. The ʻmoralʼ is not the final aphorism about marriage but that exemplified in the essay as a whole: in this ʻfield of battleʼ of life we contend by playing with ideas, points-of-view and possibilities, travelling hopefully towards a conclusion but unconcerned if we do not arrive.]
Ames, Sara (2011). ʻ“The Suicide Club”: afterlivesʼ. Journal of Stevenson Studies 8:
[Sʼs Club produced derivative tales and attempts to identify ʻrealʼ counterparts: a reflection of anxieties about the gentleman in a new consumer culture, the possibility suicide as a business service, and suicide provoked by modern cities. Socio-economic changes and the rise of the entrepreneur were leaving unskilled gentlemen with increasingly unstable status. Sʼs SC members seek an organized and exclusive death – provided however by an entrepreneur.
Sʼs SC appealed to the contemporary imagination: the sensational press started reporting ʻrealʼ suicide enterprises (1880s and 90s), and derivative narratives were published in the 1890s.]
Beattie, Hilary (2011). ʻStevensonʼs mirrored images, or games of Hyde and seekʼ. Journal
of Stevenson Studies 8: 197-213.
[A psychoanalytic reading of the the interaction with the mirror by male protagonists in Sʼs mid-1880s doubles stories. Such encounters reveal the duplicity and multiplicity of the male ego, its narcissistic frailty and fear of confrontation with the female. In ʻMarkheimʼ, mirrors dramatise the protagonistʼs shifting emotional states. In JH, the role of the mirror resists easy categorisation; initially an ally, used in the contemplation of his transformed self (reminiscent of masturbation rituals). In ʻOlallaʼ the portrait/mirror leads to threatening gender confusion – more clearly illustrated in ʻThe Story of a Recluseʼ fragment, where the cheval-glass revelation is reminiscent of JH.]
Calder, Jenni (2011). ʻStevenson and the wilderness: California, Kidnapped and The
Master of Ballantraeʼ. Journal of Stevenson Studies 8: 166-81.
[S experienced the wilderness in the mountains near Monterey, at Silverado and on Erraid; in his narratives it is a challenge to adventure, an inhospitable, unforgiving reality, and also a metaphor for psychological wastelands. In Kidnapped wild terrain is hostile, a source of horror rather than invitation to adventure. Ballantrae ends in a physical, moral and spiritual wasteland, which strips away the disguises of ʻcivilisedʼ life]
Colley, Ann C. (2011). ʻLocating homeʼ. Journal of Stevenson Studies 8: 234-44.
[S repeatedly changed residences but maintained vivid memories of Scotland. In Samoa, Vailima is filled with things from Scotland, yet he immerses himself in local life and running the estate. Home always had a known and unknown part for S, in Samoa he sees ʻhomeʼ in this foreign dimension (as a metaphor is more striking the more unusual the comparison).]
Farrell, Joseph (2011). ʻDiary: In Search of RLS in Samoaʼ. Scottish Review of Books 8
[A visit to Samoa by former Professor of Italian Literature and SRB contributor: travellerʼs impressions, and RLS and Samoa. ʻHis time there was not just a coda when all energy was spent, but a period of radical change for him.ʼ]
Gardiner, Michael (2011). 'Robert Louis Stevenson and the Meiji Enlightenment'. The Yearbook of English Studies 41.ii: 58-72.
[Gardiner examines the interaction of neo-Enlightenment Scotland and modernizing Japan in the 1870s and 80s (interpreted socio-economically according the models and terminology of world-systems analysis and cultural politics, assumed as known by the reader). It is in this context that he looks at Sʼs essay ʻYoshida-Torajiroʼ (Familiar Studies).
Yoshida had earlier struggled to open Japan to foreign science and technology but combined this with a conservative 'defensive Confucian ethnicity'. S sees Yoshida as a progressive patriot, with the shogunate as the ancient régime (Yoshida is imprisoned 'in a Bastille'), but is 'more muted' about his 'radical ethnicism', perhaps because this was unimportant for the Europhile Japanese reformers who S met in the 1870s.
'Enlightenment' Scotland was a symbol of progress for the Japanese and the Stevenson family was directly involved in Japanʼs modernization through lighthouse construction.
S felt an affinity with Yoshida because Scots lived in a similar 'semi-peripherical' state of development/undevelopment, with similar feelings of division and inferiority towards the core culture: like educated Scots ,Yoshida had a profound knowledge of the prestige foreign language (Chinese), yet his handwriting was barbaric and he becomes 'disfigured' in defeat (like Hyde). Like a protagonists of the Waverley novels, S presents him as travelling 'through the Middle Ages on his voyage of discovery into the nineteenth century'.
Gardiner judges S's essay 'a failure': it is not clear if he is describing or narrating and he breaks a rule of creative writing by telling rather than showing. But he may be trying 'to reach the edge of generic boundaries' in an impossible task: describing the arrival of a semi-peripherical condition in which he himself is contained.]
Graham, Lesley (2011). ʻ“Selfless”: the shifting reputation of Alison Cunningham in
biographies of Robert Louis Stevensonʼ. Journal of Stevenson Studies 8: 17-30.
[Biographers have seen Alison Cunningham as beneficent angel or harmful bigot in her influence on S. Her un-Scottish gesticulations seem to have been passed on to her charge and her dramatic style of reading-aloud was also a clear influence. All agree that she was devoted to her charge, but some biographers see her religious extremism as harmful. Aldington (1957) and Harman (2005) are outright in condemnation. However, all this interpretation is based on what S himself says of his childhood – not necessarily reliable – and with little regard to AC herself.]
Gray, Bill (2011). ‘The Uncanniest Scot? Stevenson, Scottish Folklore and Dark Fantasy’. Fantasy, Art and Life: Essays on George MacDonald, Robert Louis Stevenson and Other Fantasy Writers. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Pp 111-139.
[S’s long fascination with tales of the religious uncanny leading to tales of the 1880s and 90s: the apparent triumph of demonic forces over rationality in stories that explore doubleness, spiritual pride, the uncanny horror and attraction of evil, and the phenomenology of madness and evil. For these he draws on both Highland folklore and the focus on the demonic in the Covenanting tradition.]
Henville, Letitia (2012). ʻ“The Walter Scott of Tahiti”: Robert Louis Stevensonʼs Ballad
Translation." Literature Compass. 9.vii (July 2012): 489-501.
[Examines the unrestrained license that S used while composing his ballad, ʻSong of Rahéro: A Legend of Tahitiʼ, a translation of a traditional Tahitian legend. S attempted to replicate Tahitian rhythms, thus bringing foreign forms and, in transliteration, foreign words, to a traditionally British genre. Moreover, his formal choices – blending the epic into his ballad – helped to make SoR a unique work in Sʼs Pacific oeuvre, as it depicts characters unlike the Tahitians portrayed in texts associated with evolutionary anthropology. Sʼs SoR features confusing transitions and awkward phrasing, but, as Walter Benjamin has argued, even ʻbadʼ translations may adapt ʻmeaningʼ well. An understanding of the form and composition of this work can shed new light on Stevensonʼs conception of the South Pacific.
Intriguingly, the paratexts to SoR undermine the politics of the text that they frame: while SoR represents strong Tahitian characters, the preface and annotations position S as one more capable of sophisticated analysis than his sources. (Based on the abstract7 at wiley.com)]
Hill, Richard J. (2011). ʻIllustrating Island Nightsʼ Entertainments: the problem of exotic
authenticityʼ. Journal of Stevenson Studies 8: 245-63.
[S was always enthusiastic about the illustration of his work, valuing illustrations that depicted key moments of dramatic tension in order to draw the reader into the text. In the South Seas stories he felt that his texts and their illustrations must not only entertain but instruct the reader. Problem: he wanted to undo stereotypes and puncture imperialism discourse, but the illustrators lacked the means to provide authentic landscape or Polynesian physiognomy and dress. S directed them to collections of published photographs., but even photographs presented a stereotyped image: Browne used a photo to create Uma and introduced a conventionalism avoided by the text. However, the INE illustrations introduce a certain authenticity, lacking in the Ebb-Tide illustrations.]
Hirsch, Gordon (2011). ʻLocating RLS in relation to Brander Matthewsʼs and Walter
Besantʼs theories of literary collaboration in the production of popular fictionʼ. Journal of
Stevenson Studies 8: 97-107.
[In essays by Brander Matthews (1889) and Walter Besant(1892) collaboration is seen as allowing discussion about the plot, enabling the best choices to be made; RLS has a similar idea in a letter of 1894. He read and approved of Matthewsʼ article in 1890, but expresses his dislike (in doggerel verse) of the list of great and minor collaborative writers – apparently anxious at the thought of ending up classed with the latter.]
Jaëck, Nathalie (2011). ʻStevensonʼs literary utopiaʼ. Journal of Stevenson Studies 8:
[S uses literary genres but experiments with and destabilizes them. Other writers of the time felt the same need to explore new textual ways: Conrad, Doyle, Stoker, Wells. Sʼs settings are ambiguous and mysterious, his metanarrative comments typically confuse genres. His beginnings and endings do not define but open out. JH starts in a regular way but expectations are overturned: there is no steady standpoint of an omniscient narrator. Ballantrae is ʻan unidentified literary objectʼ, a literary hybrid and the preface further breaks up the text. Kidnapped concludes in the middle of nowhere on an improbable threshold, followed by an editorʼs note which marks the conclusion as arbitrary, a matter of artistic decision. Adventure is located in the text itself, in an area of imminence and the unexpected]
Mackenzie, Donald (2011). ʻStevenson after Scott: the case of Catrionaʼ. Journal of
Stevenson Studies 8: 69-96.
[Catriona is Sʼs only attempt at a ʻScott novelʼ; Scott elements: ʻTale of Tod Lapraikʼ; discussions of Realpolitik; sidelined protagonist learning of events by report; a tangle of justice, law and politics vs the integrity of the protagonist.
ʻTod Lapraikʼ: links with Burns, Hogg and Scott, but the latterʼs ʻWandering Willieʼs Taleʼ is centred on history, while TL is an emblematic/metaphysical tale. WW is an also integral part of the novel in themes, while TL is an insert – yet it plays a part in the plot: it leads to the Highland-Lowland clash of Black Andie and Neil and this leads to Davidʼs ʻcasuistryʼ of duty vs willing self-deception allowing him to escape from Bass Rock. This duplicity and ambivalence is also found in the trial itself and in Davidʼs relations with Prestongrange.
At the end of Part I David rejects the monolithic force of history, romance heroics and human duplicity and retreats into a private world (anticipated in two domestic chapters of Part I). Now the testing of the hero shifts to an individual drama of family relations unconnected with historical meaning. S rejects the possibility of ʻgrand narrativeʼ and the evocation of vast historical significance. (S typically sees history from the side-angle of an oppressed minority by a detached observer keenly aware of the absurdity of the cosmos and human society. He also sees that much cannot be understood: history is a violent muddle and individual motivation often unreadable.)
In ʻHumble Remonstranceʼ he claims romance may be more true to the human condition than realism, but in ʻThe Coast of Fifeʼ, he suggests that romanceʼs memorable ʻpicturesʼ and words have no meaning. Such radical skepticism is elsewhere resisted – in Catriona for example, making it a major work in the S canon.]
Malzahn, Manfred (2011). ʻHells, Havens, Hulls: Literary Reflections of Scottish Citiesʼ.
International Journal of Scottish Literature 8 (autumn/winter 2011).8
[Survey of changing images of the city (Edinburgh, Glasgow) in Scottish literature from the eighteenth century to the present day, including in Kidnapped and Edinburgh:Picturesque Notes.]
Menegaldo, Gilles (2011): ʻGothic Tropes, European Culture and Modernity in Some Filmic Adaptations of Stevensonʼs The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Mamoulian and Renoir)ʼ. In Gothic N.E.W.S., vol 2: Studies in Classic and Contemporary Gothic Cinema. Paris: Michael Houdiard.
Miller, David (2011). ‘“In some shut convent place”: the question of Stevenson’s poetry’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 8: 214-33.
[The question: what value or interest does S’s poetry have for literary critics. The answer is that the poems are indeed elusive (refuse to explain themselves, have a predilection for the non-present, the ambiguous), but can be seen as ‘posing of the whole question of the limit of language’ and seeking refuge in the figural power of poetic language, a quest for a protective ‘sensuous simplicity’. We tend to dismiss these poems as naive and deluded, but ‘they remain stubbornly present to us as poetry and as nothing else’.]
Miller, David (2011). [Review:] Richard Ambrosini and Richard Dury (eds.). 2009. European
Stevenson; Penny Fielding, ed., The Edinburgh Companion to Robert Louis Stevenson. 2010.
Scottish Literary Review, 3(2): 233-38.
[Critically eclectic volumes where theory is taken for granted rather than ʻexposed and foregroundedʼ (clearly Millerʼs preferred approach), the first more concerned with ʻcultural spaces and geographical sitesʼ, the latter more with ʻliterary history, narrative and genreʼ. These collections are ʻindispensableʼ, yet inevitably leave unresolved ʻthe material yet irreducible strangeness of Stevensonʼs literary contributionʼ.]
Nabaskues, Iker (2012). ʻRobert Louis Stevenson: ética, narrativa y justiciaʼ. PhD thesis, Faculty of
Law, University of the Basque Country in San Sebastian.
[The thesis analyzes the thirteen novels of Stevenson from the point of view of the philosophical sense of justice shown in them, and devotes a chapter to the main features of Stevensonʼs worldview, in particular the ʻethics of the outsiderʼ.]
Naugrette, Jean-Pierre (2012). ʻ“Lʼoptique cinématogaphique”: R.L. Stevenson et G. Greene avec
Brecht, lecture de la scène du Prater dans Le Troisième Hommeʼ. Jacqueline Nacache et Jean-
Loup Bourget. Cinématismes : littérature au prisme du cinéma. Bern etc.: Peter Lang. 255-74.
[T.S. Eliot (1927) saw the cinema as continuing the tradition of melodramatic novels of Dickens and Wilkie Collins. Brecht (1925) saw the ʻcinematographic opticʼ in nineteenthcentury writers before the invention of the cinema. Eisenstein (1944) links Dickens and D.W. Griffith in the technique of montage and parallel narratives. The aim of these writers to capture movement is associated with emotion. In the 1890s we see a convergence of painting, literature and cinema, attempting to seize the moving image.
Brecht praises the scene of sea-saw motion of the ship in Ballantrae when Mackellar tries to kill the Master. This cannot be filmed because it contains the inserted story of the Count narrated by the Master – a scene (as Eisenstein says of Pushkin) ʻnot for the cinema. But how cinematographic!ʼ And it is the ʻcinematographicʼ element that is clearly adapted by Greene in the scene on the Prater wheel in The Third Man: oscillations, revolution, a confrontation and a temptation to push an antagonist overboard.]
Parrinder, Patrick and Andrzej Gasiorek (eds) (2011). The Oxford History of the Novel in English: Volume 4: The Reinvention of the British and Irish Novel 1880-1940. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[RLS makes it to the cover of an academic literary survey! RLSʼs The Black Arrow gets a privileged position in what looks like the legitimate literature corner of the cover of a volume surveying the British and Irish novel in ʻthe age of transitionʼ.
Stevenson gets good coverage inside too: in David Gloverʼs ʻMasters of Male Romanceʼ, which opens with a quote from The Dynamiter (presented as the work that creates the device of the unemployed male duo or trio who then go on to look for adventures), and then discusses Sʼs essays on ʻromanceʼ; in David Golderʼs ʻScottish, Irish and Welsh Fiction in the Late Nineteenth Centuryʼ; Cairns Craigʼs ʻScottish Fictionʼ; Jesse Matzʼ ʻImpressionism, Naturalism, and Aestheticism: Novel Theory 1880-1914ʼ; and in section III ʻSub-Generic and Specialized Fictional Formsʼ.]
Sandison, Alan (2011). ʻ“Critical Woodcuts”: Stevenson, the Woodcut and
Modernismʼ. Anglistica Pisana 8(2) (Dec 2011): 49-60.
[There was a revival of the woodcut and wood-engraving from the late 1880s (Morris), taken up by innovative artists like Gauguin and Munch in the 1890s. The medium imposes simplification and stylization and was associated with interest in primitive art. S became interested in making woodcuts in 1882 (inspired by Bewick, Quarles and the Bagsterʼs Pilgrimʼs Progress illustrations he wrote about in 1881) and his images have affinities with his prose style: clarity, economy, vitality. He too associates them with primitive art in Moral Emblems. Some of his prose landscape descriptions, minimizing depth, have woodcut affinities and, in Weir, are combined with folk-memories and myths.]
Sandison, Alan (2011). [Review] Linda Dryden et al. (eds) (2009). Robert Louis Stevenson
and Joseph Conrad: Writers of Transition. Anglistica Pisana 8(1) (2011).
[The whole collection throws light on the rarely-examined links between the two writers. Perhaps the best contribution is by Nathalie Jaëck (ʻLogbooks and Paper Boatsʼ) arguing for how both writers take the sea as a formal model for their texts (ʻcharacterized ʻby infinity, multiplicity, indeterminacy, horizontality, “neutrality”ʼ), analyzing Heart of Darkness and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in their suspended indeterminacy, and the way Sʼs text ʻends on the threshold of its own endingʼ. Also particularly praised are the essay by Robbie Goh (ʻThe Sea as Liminal Symbolʼ), which focusses on the liminal spaces foregrounded by the emerging political order, with individuals caught in this undefined space, and that by Laurence Davies (ʻConrad, Stevenson and the Social Doubleʼ), ʻan extremely sure-footed and exceptionally wideranging review of the psychological, cultural and literary manifestations of the doubleʼ.]
Stevenson, Sara (2011). ʻSeeing in Time: visual engagement in Stevensonʼs idea of Edinburgh,
considered in the light of paintings and photographs by David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamsonʼ.
Journal of Stevenson Studies 8: 264-85.
[Robert Adamson set up his photographic studio in Edinburgh in 1843 and later took as partner the painter David Octavius Hill. Both A/H and S were intense and engaged observers of the city of Edinburgh and saw place as connected with time (personal, historical and imaginative); they both produced works that possess a heightened awareness of seeing. S was also interested in active visual perception, writing descriptions with the eyes behaving as optical instruments (telescope, camera) or with the observed landscape seen as panorama or camera obscura images.]
Watson, Roderick, ʻ“Ginger beer and earthquakes” — Stevenson and the terrors of
contingencyʼ. Journal of Stevenson Studies 8: 108-24.
[A study of the tropes of contingency and absurdity in S, arguing for an important existential element in his thought. Even in ʻÆs Triplexʼ (1878) with S apparently at his most bellelettrist we find existential aporia. In ʻPulvis et Umbraʼ (1888) he faces ʻthe abyssʼ, the horror of materiality, existential nausea, combined with the celebration of meaningless energy. ʻLay Moralsʼ and ʻA Humble Remonstranceʼ present the chaotic complexity of reality. In ʻThe Merry Menʼ, God is associated with a ʻworld of blackness where the waters wheel and roarʼ. Attwaterʼs island may be taken as a model of the savage universe of existential emptiness and for Godʼs relation with his creation. In ʻPanʼs Pipesʼ (1878) he says we should embrace ʻthe charm and terror of thingsʼ. The essays have a playful tone, but they also reveal an anxiety about human agency and the ultimate meaning of existence.]
Yardley, Jonathan (2011). ʻStevenson's 'Treasure Island': Still Avast Delightʼ. Washington Post 17 April 2006.
[An occasional series in which The Post's book critic reconsiders notable and/or neglected books from the past. Yardley judges it ʻan adventure storyʼ, ʻan acute psychological study of men in groupsʼ and also ʻa fantasyʼ, that ʻcan be read with pleasure and profit at many levelsʼ.]