177 Pages
English

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Robert Louis Stevenson, Literary Networks and Transatlantic Publishing in the 1890s

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177 Pages
English

You can change the print size of this book

Description

An investigation of R. L. Stevenson and the geographies of his literary networks


‘Robert Louis Stevenson, Literary Networks and Transatlantic Publishing in the 1890s’ focuses on an author characterised by geographical and aesthetic mobility, and on those who worked with him or wrote for him at a period of key changes in transatlantic publishing. Stevenson’s situation in the 1890s, living in Samoa, publishing in Britain and the United States, is both highly specific but also representative of a new literary mobility. Drawing on a range of resources, from archival material, correspondence, biographies, essays and fiction, the book examines the operations of transatlantic literary networks during a period of key changes in transatlantic publishing.


To investigate Stevenson and the geographies of his literary networks during the last years of his life and after his death, the book presents a series of critical case studies profiling figures who worked with Stevenson, negotiated his publications on both sides of the Atlantic, wrote for him or were inspired by him. Each chapter focuses on a figure involved in the production or afterlife of Stevenson’s late fiction. Individuals studied include Stevenson’s boyhood friend and literary negotiator, Charles Baxter; American publisher Scribner’s literary representative in London, Lemuel Bangs; Stevenson’s ‘mentor’, Sidney Colvin; Stevenson’s admirer and posthumous co-author, literary critic Arthur Quiller-Couch; and collaborators among Stevenson’s own family. Through its emphasis on these significant and fascinating figures, instrumental to or imbricated in the dissemination of Stevenson’s writing, the book offers a fresh understanding of his work in the context of transatlantic publishing.


The book deploys the concept of ‘literary prosthetics’ to frame its analysis of gatekeepers, tastemakers, agents, collaborators and authorial surrogates in the transatlantic production of Stevenson’s writing. The complexities of Stevenson’s geographical and literary situation demonstrate the ways in which the permeable bodies of ‘author’, ‘critic’, ‘editor’, ‘publisher’ and ‘agent’ were fixed and refixed during the period. The book contributes to knowledge of transatlantic publishing and literary cultures in the 1890s and to Stevenson studies but its focus on the specifics of Stevenson’s ‘case’ provides a point of entry into larger considerations of literary communities, nineteenth-century mobility drivers of literary production and the nature of the authorial function.


Acknowledgements; List of Abbreviations; Introduction; 1. Lemuel Bangs: ‘The Senator’; 2. A Tale of Two Texts; 3. ‘A Gentleman Called Charles Baxter’; 4. Sidney Colvin: Custodian and Monument; 5. Family, Friends and Collaborators; 6. Arthur Quiller- Couch: The Quivering Needle; 7. Richard Le Gallienne: ‘Not While a Boy Still Whistles’; Conclusion: Robert Louis Stevenson Incorporated; References; Index.

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Published 31 January 2020
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EAN13 9781785272868
Language English

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