13 votes
Accepted

Did Stevenson really claim to have been inspired by brownies?

Yep. Stevenson writes in his A Chapter on Dreams, which you can see a book scan at that link, and a text version at Project Gutenburg: Well, as regards the dreamer, I can answer that, for he is no ...
Mithical's user avatar
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11 votes
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Where is the start of Treasure Island set?

TL;DR: The opening chapters of Treasure Island make it clear that the "Admiral Benbow" must be within a few miles of Lynmouth in Devon. Stevenson wrote a detailed account of the writing of ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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9 votes
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Meaning of "My owners'll have to rank with the rest on their charter-party"?

Here's the situation with commercial shipping. You are a Norwegian timber merchant, with many planks of finest spruce to sell. You believe that you can make lots of money, if only you could deliver ...
alexg's user avatar
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8 votes
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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!"

The certificate referred to is almost certainly the "Certificate of Conformity". This is an instrument introduced in English law as the "Statute of Anne" in 1705. Following ...
Clara Diaz Sanchez's user avatar
8 votes
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Was Stevenson's Treasure Island influenced by Poe?

Stevenson's admission of the earlier stories and authors he'd plagiarised borrowed ideas from comes in My First Book - his little-known preface to Treasure Island, first published in McClure's ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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7 votes
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Who was Long John Silver based on?

William Ernest Henley. Per Andrzej Diniejko, in William Ernest Henley: A Biographical Sketch: Robert Louis Stevenson modelled the most famous pirate in literature — Treasure Island's Long John ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
7 votes
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How can "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" be read as a commentary on Scotland?

TL;DR: The “double being” of Jekyll and Hyde is a floating signifier, so a Scottish interpretation of the novella could be made. But no-one has done so yet! Wikipedia and James Campbell are mistaken ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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6 votes
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How many members of Captain Flint's crew are known?

Billy Bones (first mate) Confirmed from his own mouth: "I was first mate, I was, old Flint's first mate, and I'm the on'y one as knows the place. He gave it me at Savannah, when he lay a-dying, ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.6k
5 votes

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

Dr Eugene Chantrelle Dr Eugene Chantrelle was a close friend of Robert Louis Stevenson, and also Edinburgh-based. Robert had this to write about his friend: THE SCOTSMAN Stevenson wrote: “I should ...
John Strachan's user avatar
5 votes

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

TL;DR: Stevenson didn’t intend to put an anti-science agenda into Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and I don’t see how to make a convincing case for finding it there. Introduction The question ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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5 votes
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How could the current bear the coracle southward, if the current was northwards earlier?

As far as I can tell, it does seem that you've uncovered an inconsistency or mis-writing on Stevenson's part. Let's analyse the whole journey carefully, using a map of Treasure Island for reference: ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.6k
4 votes

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

The sentence you quote needs a bit of prefatory explanation to make its meaning clear. But in the process, I shall probably let drop major spoilers. Sadly ’Can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs’...
schweppz's user avatar
  • 1,209
4 votes
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What historical reference is Stevenson making with "shouting in the streets"?

In all probability; this is a reference to The Gordon Riots of 1780. The protest led to widespread rioting and looting, including attacks on Newgate Prison and the Bank of England and was the most ...
Greybeard's user avatar
  • 408
3 votes
Accepted

"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"

As the OP noted, the Epilogue of The Wreckers is dedicated to "Will H. Low". Will Hicok Low was an American artist and a personal friend of Stevenson. As the Epilogue explains, Stevenson ...
Clara Diaz Sanchez's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Long John Silver, "you may lay to that"

“Lay” has meant “put down or deposit as a bet, wager” since the 13th century. The earliest citation in the OED is from Floris and Blancheflour: Ȝerne he wule þe bidde and preie Þat þu legge þe cupe ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 56.1k
1 vote

Why did blood build the House of Shaws in Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson?

Stevenson himself wrote that historical accuracy was not his prime aim in writing the novel and there is no actual historical house of Shaw to point to specific instances of blood being shed to build ...
Josh King's user avatar
  • 251
1 vote

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

Allardyce, he was the skeletor compass. And Darby McGraw.
user12655's user avatar

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