This specific ISBN edition is currently not available.View all copies of this ISBN edition:
Variously seen as a writer of adventure stories for the young, a skilled essayist, a poet, a frail genius fated to die young, Robert Louis Stephenson was all of these and more. In Ian Bell's Dreams of Exile readers not only gain a unique insight into the man and the writer, but his life, his influences and, of course, his legacy. Born into a family that had risen from the soil to prosper as lighthouse engineers, Stephenson was much influenced by the environment in which he was raised and the principles held by his ancestors, including a dour Calvinism which provided the obsession with evil so evident in works such as The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Indeed, many of his tales can be traced back to youthful fantasies stemming from ghost stories he heard from his nurse, Alison 'Cummy' Cunningham. Ian Bell's entertaining biography also explores how Stephenson's preference for older women led to his marriage to the American divorcee Fanny Vandegrift Osbourne and his subsequent adoption of her family, which was often detrimental to his own best interests. Finally, Bell explores Stephenson's connection to the South Pacific, where he found himself sympathizing with the native peoples, seeing similarities between their treatment by the so-called civilized nations and the way in which his native Scotland was treated by England. Stevenson was only 44 when he died and, as Bell points out, barely into his maturity as an artist. What he might yet have achieved had he lived can only be surmised. This biography encourages us to return once more to the classic books we came to love - books we came to treasure.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Born, raised and educated in Edinburgh, Ian Bell is a past holder of the George Orwell Prize for Political Journalism. Formerly the Scottish editor of The Observer, he is a columnist with The Herald and the Sunday Herald.From Kirkus Reviews:
On the eve of the centennial of his death: an ardent life of Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94) that emphasizes the man rather than his writings. In fact, Bell (former literary editor of the Scotsman) says little about Stevenson's work--The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde the one exception--beyond situating it in a career bounded by illness, genius, and the lure of the unknown. But Stevenson as eccentric, rake, invalid, and expatriate comes to light here in vivid coral colors. Fundamentally, Stevenson remains inexplicable: a self-indulgent, flighty man (``as tightly strung as an overtuned piano'') who proved his inner steel by writing through a barrage of illnesses--sciatica, tuberculosis, etc.--that would have crippled others. A religious fanatic as a child, he became an atheist and socialist. A terrible student, he turned into a superb analyst of the human psyche. In Bell's agile hands, Stevenson's life seems a study in how not to do it: He never had a steady home; he married a neurotic woman who exacerbated his own problems; ran away from his literary genius (wasting his time on lesser projects and obsessive rewriting); and perfected his style only during his final years on Western Samoa, writing books he never had time to finish. Yet a few of Stevenson's tales--Jekyll and Hyde, Treasure Island, Kidnapped--will endure, along with the still-accreting legend of the dissolute vagabond genius (which Bell somewhat punctures, maintaining that ``R.L.S. was debauched on a part-time basis only''). A lively biography that Stevenson himself would have enjoyed. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Mainstream Publishing, 2014. Condition: Good. UK ed.. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP87754880
Book Description - -. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. Seller Inventory # 6545-9781780576848
Book Description Mainstream Publishing, 2014. Paperback. Condition: Used; Good. **SHIPPED FROM UK** We believe you will be completely satisfied with our quick and reliable service. All orders are dispatched as swiftly as possible! Buy with confidence!. Seller Inventory # 3186169
Book Description Mainstream Publishing, 2014. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. Dreams Of Exile - R. Louis Stev This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. . Seller Inventory # 7719-9781780576848
Book Description Paperback. Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Seller Inventory # GOR005912220