The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a novella written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1886. It features the double lives of Dr. Jekyll, a well respected chemist, and Mr. Hyde, a criminal who... More > is wanted for murder. Mr. Utterson, the story's protagonist, finds it curious that Dr. Jekyll has named Mr. Hyde his beneficiary. Perhaps there's some blackmailing going on? This swift and delightful thriller has enshrined the image of a character with "split personalities" as representing good and evil, and the name Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has become a pseudonym for anyone with such a temperament.
The idea for this story supposedly came to Stevenson during a nightmare, and the original manuscript was apparently burned by a family member. He then set about rewriting it over the course of six days, supposedly assisted by cocaine. A friend of the author noted: "The mere physical feat was tremendous; and instead of harming him, it roused and cheered him inexpressibly."< Less
Being memoirs of the adventures of David Balfour in the year 1751: how he was kidnapped and cast away; his sufferings in a desert isle; his journey in the wild highlands; his acquaintance with Alan... More > Breck Stewart and other notorious highland Jacobites; with all that he suffered at the hands of his uncle, Ebenezer Balfour of Shaws, falsely so called.< Less
In fifteenth-century England, when his father's murderer is revealed to be his guardian, seventeen-year-old Richard Shelton joins the fellowship of the Black Arrow in avenging the death, rescuing the... More > woman he loves, and participating in the struggle between the Yorks and Lancasters in the War of the Roses.< Less
Robert Louis Stevenson's short story The Body-Snatcher (1884) is the tale of MacFarlane and Fettes, a pair of "resurrection men," or body-snatchers - unsavory types who secretly disinter... More > fresh corpses from graveyards to sell as anatomy subjects. This grim little tale is based on reality, as in Edinburgh - Stevenson's home town - body-snatching was so common they built high walls and guard towers around the graveyards. Sometimes, for want of a corpse, an even less scrupulous body-snatcher might just off someone in the night instead of risking a trip to a rural graveyard…but I don't want to give away too much.< Less
Treasure Island: the sensationally popular boys' tale by Robert Louis Stevenson. It is narrated by young Jim Hawkins, son of an innkeeper who sets sail on a schooner headed for a remote Caribbean... More > island. So many classic pirate trappings and names come from the mutiny and adventure that ensues: Long John Silver with a parrot on his shoulder, the treasure map with the "X", the "Black Spot," and Davey Jones' Locker.
One interesting note was that the book actually began as a treasure map, one which Stevenson had illustrated for fun but had delighted him so much that he wrote the rest of the novel around it. Sadly, when Stevenson sent the map to his publisher along with the novel, it was lost. He was devastated, and when he tried to redraw it from memory it was a sorry attempt. So after all these years there is treasure after all... and it's the map itself: find Stevenson's map!< Less
New Arabian Nights by Robert Louis Stevenson, first published in 1882, is a collection of short stories previously published in magazines between 1877 and 1880. The collection contains Stevenson's... More > first published fiction, and a few of the stories are considered by some critics to be his best work, as well as pioneering works in the English short story tradition.< Less
Although he is now best remembered for rip-roaring adventure novels like Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson was a well-regarded travel... More > writer during his lifetime. In Across the Plains, Stevenson recounts his experiences traveling in the United States in a series of fascinating and detailed essays.< Less
Robert Louis Stevenson's 1878 travelogue, An Inland Voyage, details his canoeing trip through France and Belgium in 1876. Pioneering new ground in outdoor literature, this was Stevenson's first book.... More > He had decided to become free from his parent's financial support so that he might freely pursue the woman he loved; to support himself he wrote travelogues, most notably An Inland Voyage, Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes and The Silverado Squatters. Stevenson undertook the journey with his friend, Sir Walter Grindlay Simpson, at a time when such outdoor travel for leisure was considered unusual and it resulted in this romantic and original work that still inspires travelers today.< Less