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Book Cover
Author Jolly, Roslyn.

Title Robert Louis Stevenson in the Pacific : travel, empire, and the author's profession / Roslyn Jolly
Published Farnham, Surrey, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, [2009]
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Description 1 online resource (viii, 193 pages)
Contents 1887: the turning point -- The travel-writer as anthropologist: In the south seas -- Our man in Samoa: A footnote to history -- The novelist as lawyer: The Times letters and Catriona -- 1894: repossession
Summary Robert Louis Stevenson's departure from Europe in 1887 coincided with a vocational crisis prompted by his father's death. Impatient with his established identity as a writer, Stevenson was eager to explore different ways of writing, at the same time that living in the Pacific stimulated a range of latent intellectual and political interests. Roslyn Jolly examines the crucial period from 1887 to 1894, focusing on the self-transformation wrought in Stevenson's Pacific travel-writing and political texts. Jolly shows how Stevenson's desire to understand unfamiliar Polynesian and Micronesian cultures, and to record and intervene in the politics of Samoa, gave him opportunities to use his legal education, pursue his interest in historiography, and experiment with anthropology and journalism. Thus as his geographical and cultural horizons expanded, Stevenson's professional sphere enlarged as well, stretching the category of authorship in which his successes as a novelist had placed him. Rather than enhancing his stature as a popular writer, however, Stevenson's experiments with new styles and genres, and the Pacific subject matter of his later works, were resisted by his readers. Jolly's analysis of contemporary responses to Stevenson's writing, gleaned from an extensive collection of reviews, many of which are not readily available, provides fascinating insights into the interests, obsessions, and resistance of Victorian readers. As Stevenson sought to escape the vocational straightjacket that confined him, his readers just as strenuouslyy expressed their loyalty to outmoded images of Stevenson the author, and their distrust of the new guises in which he presented himself. -- Publisher
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 179-188) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Stevenson, Robert Louis, 1850-1894 -- Homes and haunts -- Oceania
Stevenson, Robert Louis, 1850-1894 -- Knowledge -- Oceania
Stevenson, Robert Louis, 1850-1894 -- Travel -- Oceania
Stevenson, Robert Louis, 1850-1894.
Stevenson, Robert Louis, 1850-1894.
Stevenson, Robert Louis.
Authors, Scottish -- 19th century -- Biography.
Islands of the Pacific -- In literature
Oceania -- In literature
Genre/Form Biographies.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 135190275X