Robert Louis Stevenson As An Essayist
Livesey, and the rest of these gentlemen having asked me to write down the whole particulars about Treasure Island, from the beginning to the end, keeping nothing back but the bearings of the island, and that only because there is still treasure not yet lifted, I take up my pen in the year of grace 17—, and go back to the time when my father kept the “Admiral Benbow” inn, and the brown old seaman, with the sabre cut, first took up his lodging under our roof.
A plain beginning, except that the startling phrases “there is still treasure not yet lifted” and “with the sabre cut” provide a brief flash of the vividly colored world into which the reader is about to be seduced.
Writing was not only his occupation, it was his calling.
This attitude means that in Stevenson’s work one encounters a variety of genres and styles.
It gave Stevenson fame and was the first of many classic stories by him. Themes/Subjects: Courage, Bravery, Heroism, European, Honor, Loyalty, Friends and Friendship [Link to:] Teacher Guides & Resources To Top ↑ One of Stevenson’s most enduringly popular novels, Kidnapped (originally titled The Lad with the Silver Button) was inspired by real events in Scottish history.
The Appin murder of Colin Campbell (aka the Red Fox) in 1752 sparked the biggest manhunt seen in Scotland at the time and eventually brought an innocent man to death after a prosecution that has been dubbed the “blackest mark on Scottish legal history.” This was ripe material for Stevenson to craft an adventure.
These minor characters assume great importance in their stories because they are vivid mixtures of appealing and repulsive qualities.
They are fascinating characters because they combine great capacity for good with great capacity for evil.
The lasting appeal of the story is supported by the fact that there are more film versions of Treasure Island than almost any other classic novel.This dimension raises the issue of Stevenson’s dominant theme: moral ambiguity in human actions.Stevenson is a moralist, but a hard-headed moralist, not a writer of tracts.Stevenson’s first novel was magazine in the fall and winter of 1881-1882 and first published in book form in 1883.Evident in this novel are the techniques and themes that dominate Stevenson’s fiction.His first commercially published book, , perhaps his best writing in this genre, is an account of his “honeymoon” in the summer of 1880 with his new bride and stepson, plus assorted visitors, in an abandoned miner’s cabin.This book is deceptively simple, subtly humorous, and shrewdly perceptive.It also means that technique and “manner” will be foremost; his work will manifest a certain “finish” or “polish.” In his nonfiction work, this polish means that his serious themes will be very easy to digest.In his fiction and poetry, it means that his serious themes will hardly be noticed. He survives, but in the popular imagination, not in the critical pantheon.Background: Treasure Island was written by RLS just after returning from his first trip to America where he married.At a time when he was still an unknown author, inspiration came one summer in Scotland when bad weather kept the family stuck inside.