Essays in the Art of Writing by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Essays in the Art of Writing Robert Louis Stevenson examines the techniques of writing, and gives insights into the writing of ""Treasure Island"" and ""The Master of Ballantrae"". CONTENTS On Some Technical Elements of Style in Literature, The Morality of the Profession of Letters, Books Which Have Influenced Me, A Note On Realism, My First Book: ""Treasure Island"", The Genesis of ""The Master of Ballantrae"" Robert Louis Stevenson Stevenson's life was almost as adventurous as the stories he created. He spent much of it as a traveler, writing about his exploits in such exemplary travel books as TRAVELS WITH A DONKEY IN THE CEVENNES. He studied law but never practiced he always wanted to write, and gave himself what amounted to a writing course, studying and copying the style and techniques of his favorite writers. His attempts paid off: his first published novel, TREASURE ISLAND, brought him money and fame. At 29 he fell in love with a married woman--alienating his family--and pursued her to California, where she divorced her husband, after which the couple married and traveled extensively in the U.S., visiting various spas and health resorts in search of a cure for the tuberculosis from which Stevenson suffered all his life. After extensive travel in the South Seas, he finally settled in Samoa, where he became involved in the lives and politics of the islanders. During all his wanderings, he continued to write, producing a total of 12 novels, many short tales, three plays, poetry (including the classic A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES), and dozens of books of essays and travel pieces. He died in Samoa at 44--suddenly, of apoplexy, as he was making a salad for dinner--leaving his last book, THE WEIR OF HERMISTON, unfinished. Keywords: Style, Literary -- Literature, Arts etc British Writers, English LiteratureKeywords: Robert Louis Stevenson Master Of Ballantrae Treasure Island Travels With A Donkey Travels With A Donkey In The Cevennes Money And Fame Art Of Writing Technical Elements Married Woman Elements Of Style Realism Exemplary Travel Books Exploits Morality Genesis Profession
 

About Robert Louis Stevenson

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Novelist, poet, and essayist Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. A sickly child, Stevenson was an invalid for part of his childhood and remained in ill health throughout his life. He began studying engineering at Edinburgh University but soon switched to law. His true inclination, however, was for writing. For several years after completing his studies, Stevenson traveled on the Continent, gathering ideas for his writing. His Inland Voyage (1878) and Travels with a Donkey (1878) describe some of his experiences there. A variety of essays and short stories followed, most of which were published in magazines. It was with the publication of Treasure Island in 1883, however, that Stevenson achieved wide recognition and fame. This was followed by his most successful adventure story, Kidnapped, which appeared in 1886. With stories such as Treasure Island and Kidnapped, Stevenson revived Daniel Defoe's novel of romantic adventure, adding to it psychological analysis. While these stories and others, such as David Balfour and The Master of Ballantrae (1889), are stories of adventure, they are at the same time fine studies of character. The Master of Ballantrae, in particular, is a study of evil character, and this study is taken even further in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886). In 1887 Stevenson and his wife, Fanny, went to the United States, first to the health spas of Saranac Lake, New York, and then on to the West Coast. From there they set out for the South Seas in 1889. Except for one trip to Sidney, Australia, Stevenson spent the remainder of his life on the island of Samoa with his devoted wife and stepson. While there he wrote The Wrecker (1892), Island Nights Entertainments (1893), and Catriona (1893), a sequel to Kidnapped. He also worked on St. Ives and The Weir of Hermiston, which many consider to be his masterpiece. He died suddenly of apoplexy, leaving both of these works unfinished. Both were published posthumously; St. Ives was completed by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, and The Weir of Hermiston was published unfinished. Stevenson was buried on Samoa, an island he had come to love very much. Although Stevenson's novels are perhaps more accomplished, his short stories are also vivid and memorable. All show his power of invention, his command of the macabre and the eerie, and the psychological depth of his characterization.
 
Published May 16, 2012 by Chatto & Windus. 48 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Essays in the Art of Writing

A Patchwork of Books

Maud had so many things stacked against her: the local doctor at the end of volume one who had a hard time keeping patients' ailments to himself, an unsupportive housemate in her grandmother, and the happy books she produced (such a contrast to her anguish -- I would think if she tried to reach o...

Jan 05 2013 | Read Full Review of Essays in the Art of Writing

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