The Robert Louis Stevenson Archive

Online Studies of Robert Louis Stevenson

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Arata, Stephen D. (1995) 'The Sedulous Ape: Atavism, Professionalism, and Stevenson's Jekyll and Hyde'. Criticism [Detroit] 37ii: 233-259.

Axford, Martin (2007). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped: Teaching Notes for Higher and Advanced Higher’. Glasgow: Association for Scottish Literary Studies (Teaching Notes: web pages for free download).

Baker, Franklin T. (1909). Introduction‘ to Stevenson, R.L., Treasure Island. New York: Charles E. Merrill Co. (Merrill’s English Texts). [Given the date, perhaps more of interest for the history of reception; also includes a section of ‘critical opinions’]

Barbalet, Jack (2001). ‘WJ and Robert Louis Stevenson: The Importance of Emotion’. Streams of William James 3ii: 6-9.

Bevan, Bryan. ‘The Versatility of Robert Louis Stevenson.’ Contemporary Review 264 (1994): 316-19.

Cruz, Pablo (2002). ‘Hyde y Olalla, las dos caras del sueño’. Babar (revista [on-line] de literatura infantil y juvenil) 2002

Daniel Balderston (1985). El precursor velado: R. L. Stevenson en la obra de Borges. Buenos Aires: Sudamericana. Now available via Borges Studies on Line (J. L Borges Center for Studies & Documentation, University of Aarhus, Danemark) at

Callahan, Joan R. (2003). ‘Dr. Callahan and Mr. Hyde: A Study of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Bleeding Disorder’. Direct Connection [Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia Foundation International] (Winter 2003), p. 9.

[An open-minded account of how the author came to write an article associating Stevenson with HHT.]

Campbell, James (2000). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson’. New York Times Nov 5, 2000. [JC, author of Talking at the Gates: A Life of James Baldwin and This Is the Beat Generation, discusses the life and works of RLS.]

Colley, Anne C. (1997). ‘ “Writing Towards Home: the Landscape of A Child’s Garden of Verses’. Victorian Poetry 35iii: 303-18. Also on-line. [Stevenson’s nostalgia for childhood - which he tried to regain through play and writing - is for flexibility of consciousness and for the vicarious violence of play. His adolescent protagonists (Jim, David) move back and forward between childhood and adulthood; the CGV poems show the child’s fluid spatial and temporal orientation. Children themselves are free from the duality and self-consciousness of nostalgia since they do not see the difference of near and far, then and now. Adult sensitivity for difference also makes play difficult (a bed is not a boat): both past and play-world remain unattainable. The play of writing was one way to escape form self-conscious dualism - the narrative has a continuous present and its events and speeches allow an acted-out play. ‘The writer becomes Jim Hawkins… Writing is the only way home’. Even the alienated Hyde unable to return to Jekyll can still write in Jekyll’s hand.]

Danks, Adrian (2002). ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’. Senses of Cinema, an online film journal  30 (Jan.-March 2004)

[Discusses Mamoulian’s audacious technical innovations in his ‘pre-eminent film adaptation’ of JH.]

Downing, Ben (1998). ‘An Old Gypsy Nature’ [review of Mehew E. (ed.) (1997). Selected Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson ]. New Criterion16x: ***

Edgecombe, Rodney Stenning  (2004). ‘Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson and South Sea idols’. Victorian Newsletter,  March, 2004  

Firth, Leslie (2004). ‘John Singer Sargent and Robert Louis Stevenson’. Magazine Antiques Nov. 2004 : ***.
On-line at

Fergus, David (2005). ‘A Major Minor Poet?’ Textualities 4

[Memorable poems from Underwoods are ‘The House Beautiful’ and ‘Requiem’. Borges, in a conversation with Graham Greene, said the latter was Stevenson’s finest poem. For Greene, the best was XXXVIII (‘Say not that weakly I declined’). Scots poems in the same collection worthy of note are the humorous ‘A Lowden Sabbath Morn’ and ‘The Scotsman’s Return from Abroad’.

Of the Ballads, Fergus mentions ‘Christmas at Sea’ with its moving last lines. In the posthumous Songs of Travel there are a series of interesting poems of exile: ‘To My Old Familiars’. ‘The Tropics Vanish’ and the poignant ‘To S.R. Crockett; also the heartfelt portrait of his dying father (‘The Last Sight’). The other posthumously-published poems (badly edited by George S. Hellman, but treated with exemplary scholarship by Janet Adam Smith) also contain many interesting pieces in all his styles. Fergus concludes that it is time for Stevenson to be acknowledged as ‘a major minor poet’.]

Fusillo, Massimo (2004). ‘Metamorphosis at the Window: Stevenson, Kafka, Cronenberg’. Elephant & Castle 26 October 2004
[In narratives, the liminal status and framing function of windows can be associated with mystery and concealment or with reverie, both of which can be found in post-Romantic and fantastic tales of uncanny metamorphosis. The windows of  Jekyll’s cabinet are described from the outside, from the inside in and from the outside again. Two disturbing incidents are associated with a window: the Carew murder, seen from the inside, and the beginnings of a metamorphosis, seen from the outside. The dreaming maid and the melancholy Jekyll at the window belong to a literary tradition analysed by Silvio Curletto (in Finestre, 2003). Melancholy contemplation from the window is also found in Kafka’s Die Verwandlung, where the window is also associated with a final sense of liberation from monstrosity. In fact the window is a typically ambiguous motif, associated both with dreams of freedom and the sense of oppressive reality. Clearly visual in  nature, it is associated with the visual process of metamorphosis in films, e.g. Cronenberg’s The Fly.]

Gibson, Brian (2002). ‘One Man is an Island: Natural Landscape Imagery in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island’. The Victorian Newsletter (Spring 2002): 12-21.

Ginzburg, Carlo (1999). ‘Tusitala and His Polish Reader’. Raritan 18iii: 85-102.

Goh, Robbie (1999). ‘Textual Hyde And Seek: “Gentility,” Narrative Play And Proscription In Stevenson's Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde’. Journal of Narrative Theory 29:2 (1999). < - jekyll and hyde

Hardy, Phil (1986) ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Paramount 1931’ (from The Encyclopedia of Horror Films, 1986) at on Eric. B. Olson’s ‘History of Horror’ site.

Hodgart, John (2004). ‘The Shorter Fiction of Robert Louis Stevenson: Teaching Notes for Higher and Advanced Higher’. Glasgow: Association for Scottish Literary Studies. 16 pp. (Teaching Notes: web pages for free download).

[Despite the title, this is devoted entirely to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.]


Jackson, Darren (2000). ‘“The Beach of Falesá” and the Colonial Enterprise’. Limina 6: 72-84.
Explores the place of Stevenson’s “Falesá” in the colonialist enterprise by examining it and modern historiography about the nineteenth-century Pacific Islands. The author concludes that although Stevenson overturns his readers’ expectations by exposing the white traders as savages, he doesn’t go all the way in his anti-imperialist message, since he presents the islanders as not capable of acting for themselves: he fails to present the indigenous islanders as agents rather than objects. This shows the pervasive nature of imperialist ideology in this period.

Jamison, Kay Redfield (1994). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson: ***’. Smooth Sailing (the quarterly newsletter of the Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association) Spring 1994: ***.

Japp, Alexander Hay (****). Robert Louis Stevenson: A Record, an Estimate, a Memorial. ***

Katz, Wendy (1987). ‘ “Mark, printed on the Opposing Page”, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Moral Emblems’. Emblematica 2ii (Fall 1987): 337-354.

Khan, Umma (1999). ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: Psychological Perspectives’, on Martin Danahay’s Perspectives on Jekyll and Hyde site.

Kirkland, Chris (2001). ‘A Time of Terror: England’s Social Conditions in the Late Nineteenth Century and the Rise of the Novel of Terror’. Gateway, An Academic History Journal on the Web, 2 (Summer 2001): <> [‘Late Nineteenth century novels of horror such as Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde managed to create terror by expertly exploiting the concerns, both real and perceived, which produced fear in their contemporary readership. Stevenson and others seized upon the ambiguous and threatening spectre of degeneration and tied it to the very real social problems which the population of London was facing at the time, creating a literature which produced terror by both reflecting and, in large part, helping to create the climate of unease which pervaded this societal climate.’ Gateway is a journal for graduate students run from the University of Saskatchewan.]

Jennifer Klopsis (2000). ‘On Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde [?compared] with Valerie Martins’ Mary Reilly […] The Class System in The Two Novels’.

[This is a student essay offered as a model on Ellen Moody’s amazing site]

Krasner, James (2000). ‘Crime And Street Lighting In Jekyll And Hyde’, on Martin Danahay’s Jekyll and Hyde site.

Laborda Gil, Xavier (1991). ‘Stevenson: el viaje como forma de vida’ Cuadernos de Literatura Infantil y Juvenil, 33 (noviembre 1991) : 8-16. On-line at

Lang, Andrew (1891). ‘Mr Stevenson’s Works’. Essays in Little. London: Henry and Co.

Lang, Andrew (1912). ‘Recollections of Robert Louis Stevenson’. Adventures Among Books. London: Longmans, Green and Co.

Nelson, Brittany (2000). ClassicNote on Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Grade Saver site): summaries, analyses, links

MacLeod, Dawn.."R.L.S. in Perthshire." Contemporary Review 265 (1994): 267-71.

Menikoff, Barry (1996). ‘Grub Street in a velvet Coat: The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, Vols. 1-6’. Nineteenth-Century Literature. 50iv

Nelson, Brittany (2000). ClassicNote on Treasure Island (Grade Saver site): summaries, analyses, links

Newport, Barry (2000). ‘A Weevil in a Biscuit: Robert Louis Stevenson and Bournemouth’. Antiquarian Book Monthly Review 27x: 10-14.

Perkus, Aaron Keith (1997). ‘Dr. Jekyll Hydeing in the Garden of Eden’. Mythos Journal 6 (special number: ‘Myths of Science and Technology’). [A revised chapter from Perkus’s PhD dissertation (Binghamton University, 1994), ‘Where the Wild Things Are: The Male Uterus and the Creation of Monsters.’ Summary: To return to the mythic ‘Golden Age’, a harmonious all-male world, children must be produced without women. Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde is ‘one of the great modern myths of male parthenogenesis’: like Zeus, he tries to create a child from his own body. He sees man divided into two parts which he claims are ‘the provinces of good and ill’, yet if the elementary duality of humanity is male and female, which are then also superimposed on body-soul dualism, Jekyll can be seen as unleashing his feminine nature. Just as Adam and Eve were in union before they ate from the tree of knowledge, so Jekyll at first shares in the pleasures and adventures of Hyde, but then – like Adam blaming Eve – denies that Hyde can be called ‘I’: “In both cases, it is the body, the evil, the lower self which is blamed for the ruination of the higher, the spiritual nature of man.” Jekyll tempts Lanyon, who then falls, and Lanyon goes on to ‘tempt’ Utterson in the account that is handed over to him]

Peterson, Cameron (2000). ClassicNotes on Kidnapped (Grade Saver site): summaries, analyses, links

Scarpelli, Giacomo (1998). ‘Lo strano caso del Dottor Stevenson e di Mister Myers’. Aperture 5

[Stevenson’s 1892 letter to Myers translated into Italian (published in part in L’Unità 23 June 1998.)]

Simpson, Eve Blantyre (1906). Robert Louis Stevenson (Project Gutenberg site). Boston/London: John W. Luce & Co. (Spirit of the Age Series, No. 2).

Sorensen, Janet (2000). ‘“Belts of God” and “Twenty-Pounders”: Robert Louis Stevenson’s textualized economies’. Criticism 42iii: 279-297. [Stevenson’s Kidnapped demonstrates ‘a remarkably prescient understanding of the global network in which representations of distinct English and Scottish symbolic economies must be situated’. The URL for this article is - this is for access via trhe FindArticles site: the site for the review Criticism seems to be by subscription only]

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

Torrey, Bradford (1902). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson’. Atlantic Monthly (June 1902) [long appreciation of S, starting from Balfour’s 1901 biography: Stevenson’s conscious self-training in the art of writing; importance of travel; praise of Amateur Emigrant, the essays, the letters; written in a style not uninfluenced by Stevenson.]

Turner, George (1999). ‘Two faced Treachery’. American Cinematographer Online Magazine, March 1999: [An interesting study of Mamoulian’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1931) from the point-of-view of cinematic techniques. The magazine home page is]

Van Dyke, Henry [1852-1933] (1922). ‘An Adventurer in a Velvet Jacket’. In Companionable Books. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. [Van Dyke, Murray Professor of English Literature at Princeton (1900-23), was a conservative literary critic (Modernist attacks on Stevenson were also attacks on such members of the academic old guard who had supported him: see Richard Ambrosini & Richard Dury ‘Introduction’, Robert Louis Stevenson. Writer of Boundaries, vxi). Despite this, he makes an interesting analysis of S’s theory of narrative.]

Wright, Daniel L. (1994). ‘ “The Prisonhouse of My Disposition": A Study of the Psychology of  Addiction in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.’ Studies in the Novel 26 (1994): 254-67.


‘Death of R. L. Stevenson’, New York Times 18 December 1894.

Wikisource: Annotations (or Wikibooks: Annotated Texts) (2006- ). The Annotated Strange Case of Dr Jakyll and Mr Hyde

Wikisource: Annotations (or Wikibooks: Annotated Texts) (2006- ).The Annotated Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes
[This and the Annotated JH were started by Stephen Balbach (of Ashton, Maryland, USA)]

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