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Questions tagged [robert-louis-stevenson]

Questions about the works of the Scottish novelist and poet Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) or his life as a writer.

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Did the Master of Ballantrae poison Chew?

The main plot of The Master of Ballantrae, by Robert Louis Stevenson, revolves around two brothers, who, over the course of their lives, become consumed with hatred for each other to the exclusion of ...
Peter Shor's user avatar
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4 votes
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"And there was yet a greater difficulty. I had read somewhere an aphorism that everything may be false to itself save human nature."

(From The Wrecker by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne, Chapter II, passage 36, published 1892) The house, by daylight, had proved to be six stories high, the same as ever. I could find, with ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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"But there is one more (question) that I daresay you are burning to put to myself; and that is, what your own name is doing in this place"

(From The Wrecker by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne, Epilogue, passage 425/427, published 1892) (Passage 425) But there is one more (question; added by me) that I daresay you are burning ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Meaning of "Am I clear? Have I a certificate, or what have I to do to get one? And when will it be dated? You can't think what hangs by it!"

(From The Wrecker by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne, Chapter XVIII, published 1892) Passage 286 “Even so, Jim. My questions,” I repeated. “I put questions as well as yourself; and however ...
philphil's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
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Why did blood build the House of Shaws in Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson?

Does anyone know why allegedly blood built the House of Shaws? My dim memories of watching Kidnapped (1960) and reading the novel long ago include someone warning David Balfour that the House of Shaws ...
M. A. Golding's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
703 views

Meaning of "My owners'll have to rank with the rest on their charter-party"?

(From The Wrecker by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne, Chapter XVI, published 1892) Passage 256 “All the same,” continued Nares, “you went into the opium-smuggling with your head down; and a ...
philphil's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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What historical reference is Stevenson making with "shouting in the streets"?

In The Master of Ballantrae, in the section “The Master's Wanderings”, Stevenson writes: and I dare say these plaudits had their effect on Master Teach in the cabin, as we have seen of late days how ...
Peter Shor's user avatar
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1 vote
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What is the metre in the Scotch dialect of Thrawn Janet by Robert Louis Stevenson? [closed]

What is the metre of this specific part of dialect: e.g is it iambic, trochaic, spondaic, anapaestic, dactylic? Fifty years syne, when Mr. Soulis cam’ first to Ba’weary, he was still a young man––a ...
Jasa's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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Long John Silver, "you may lay to that"

In Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, the "ambiguous rogue" (I saw this phrase somewhere and it's my favourite description of the character) Long John Silver frequently uses the ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
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How could the current bear the coracle southward, if the current was northwards earlier?

In R.L. Stevenson's Treasure Island's chapter "Cruise of the Coracle", Jim sails northward (due to northward current) from Haulbowline Head past the the Cape of the Woods and that is when he ...
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7 votes
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Do Stevenson's pirates speak in Cornish dialect?

In a literature-related thread on another SE site, I found the claim that the pirates in Robert louis Stevenson's Treasure Island speak in a Cornish dialect. This makes sense only thematically (given ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
2k views

How many members of Captain Flint's crew are known?

In Treasure Island, the most prominent character who never appears on-stage is surely Captain Flint, the notorious pirate captain whose treasure drives the plot. Almost as important as the treasure ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
960 views

What's the evidence for "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" being secretly set in Edinburgh?

Stevenson's famous novel Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is set in London, but some critics have claimed that it would seem to fit better in Stevenson's native Edinburgh, almost as if he wrote a story set in ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
974 views

How can "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" be read as a commentary on Scotland?

In the Wikipedia page for Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, one of the mentioned interpretations of the story is as a symbolic representation of Scottish nationalism vs union with ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
547 views

Does R L Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde have a hidden anti-science agenda?

In the novel Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Dr. Jekyll creates a serum that turns him into Mr. Hyde. Mr. Hyde commits several crimes. Even though Dr. Jekyll recognises Mr. Hyde as evil, he ...
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1 vote
0 answers
157 views

Was Stevenson's Captain Smollett named after Tobias Smollett?

The captain of the Hispaniola in Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island is a man named Alexander Smollett. There's also a Scottish writer named Tobias Smollett, and there's speculation that the ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
2k views

Did Stevenson really claim to have been inspired by brownies?

Jorge Luis Borges claims, in his Book of Imaginary Beings, that the author Robert Louis Stevenson attributed some of the stranger ideas in his writing to fantastical creatures such as brownies who ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
564 views

Who was Long John Silver based on?

In his little-known preface to Treasure Island (which I discovered while answering this question), Robert Louis Stevenson wrote rather persuasively on the possibilities for how a fictional character ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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13 votes
1 answer
725 views

Was Stevenson's Treasure Island influenced by Poe?

I read on Wikipedia that: During the same period, Edgar Allan Poe wrote, "MS Found in a Bottle" (1833) and the intriguing tale of buried treasure, "The Gold-Bug" (1843). All of these works ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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16 votes
2 answers
2k views

Where is the start of Treasure Island set?

Robert Louis Stevenson's famous novel Treasure Island opens somewhere in Britain, at and around the Admiral Benbow inn. Where exactly is this meant to be? It seems to be relatively near to Bristol, ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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