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The value of these letters lies in their being like their writer. All Stevenson's work, when it was successful, was a more or less literal transcription of his everyday self. Even his literary discipline tended and helped to this end, instead of to the production of an artificial and unfamiliar self. No writer owed so much to his own social qualities ; and his popularity is very far from being an exclusively literary one. His interests, his views of life, his opinions on books, his hopes, his despondencies, his eccentricities, heresies, prejudices, he insinuates into his readers, and they are adopted, cheered, echoed, in most unlikely quarters, not because of their intrinsic worth 01 reasonableness, but because they were his, and had, therefore, the most winning of advocates and expounders. The Vailima Letters are not to be named with epistolary masterpieces. But they let out the secret, to whoever has not already guessed it, of Stevenson's beguiling influence. Just what delighted you in Kidnapped, or The New Arabian Nights, or in the Travels with a Donkey, is here to delight you when he is speaking of his own private concerns, or of Samoan politics, or of his literary hopes and fears—his sparkling fun, his varying moods, his austere indignation, his gentleness, his ready confidence. If Stevenson ever posed at all he posed in naturalness, in being so much himself that no one could think him other than he was.
1895. The letters of Stevenson, best remembered for Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, written between November 1890 and October 1894, to his friend Sidney Colvin, a professor at Cambridge and reputable critic for the Fortnightly Review. Through his encouragement and guidance, Colvin had early on helped the frail young writer to find his writing style. These letters were written from his house at Vailima, Samoa during the last four years of his life; he was at the height of his creative powers. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.
Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish novelist and travel writer, most noted for Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and A Child's Garden of Verses.Robert Louis Stevenson (13 November 1850 - 3 December 1894) was a Scottish novelist and travel writer, most noted for Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and A Child's Garden of Verses. Born and educated in Edinburgh, Stevenson suffered from serious bronchial trouble for much of his life, but continued to write prolifically and travel widely, in defiance of his poor health. As a young man, he mixed in London literary circles, receiving encouragement from Andrew Lang, Edmund Gosse, Leslie Stephen and W. E. Henley, the last of whom may have provided the model for Long John Silver in Treasure Island. Stevenson spent several years in search of a location suited to his health, before finally settling in Samoa, where he died. A celebrity in his lifetime, Stevenson attracted a more negative critical response for much of the 20th century, though his reputation has been largely restored. He is currently ranked as the 26th most translated author in the world.

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