Fascinated by a wide variety of verse techniques, Robert Louis Stevenson produced superb work in styles ranging from folk ballads to witty conversational offerings for his friends. Pieces using Robert Burns's stanza form and dialect rank among the most attractive Scots poetry of the ninteenth century. Angus Calder has brought together many uncollected poems, substantial extracts from the published collections and the complete A Child's Garden of Verses, an extraordinarily evocative picture of childhood loneliness, visions and fears. Far more than in his famous novels, it was here that Stevenson felt able to give direct expression to his deepest feelings about friendship, love and nostalgia; this definitive anthology captures a compelling and utterly individual voice.
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) was born in Edinburgh. In the brief span of forty-four years, dogged by poor health, he made an enormous contribution to English literature with his novels, poetry, and essays. The son of upper-middle-class parents, he was the victim of lung trouble from birth, and spent a sheltered childhood surrounded by constant care. The balance of his life was taken up with his unremitting devotion to work, and a search for a cure to his illness that took him all over the world. His travel essays were publihsed widely, and his short fiction was gathered in many volumes. His first full-length work of fiction, Treasure Island, was published in 1883 and brought him great fame, which only increased with the publication of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886). He followed with the Scottish romances Kidnapped (1886) and The Master of Ballantrae (1889). In 1888 he set out with his family for the South Seas, traveling to the leper colony at Molokai, and finally settling in Samoa, where he died.
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