R.L. Stevenson Best Literature 📚

Robert Louis Stevenson had a unique writing style, and he contributed to poetry, fiction, and non-fiction writing during his lifetime.

Robert Louis Stevenson

(1850 - 1894), Scottish

R.L. Stevenson’s works are scholarly and lucid. Some of his works are based on real-time experiences of his life, which were a combination of illness, depression, success and failure, and his love for traveling the world and writing. His most prolific writing career starts with his return to Europe with his stepson Lloyd Osbourne. 

R.L. Stevenson Best Literature



Novels/Fiction

Treasure Island

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson Digital Art
Treasure Island Artistic Representation

Treasure Island is arguably one of the most famous adventurous stories published in 1883. It is arguably Stevenson’s most famous work. The story revolves around the character of Jim, a young boy who goes on a trip to bring back a dead pirate’s treasure after he accidentally finds a treasure map. He faces a shipwreck, a pirate mutiny, and sword fights on his way to restore the treasure. The novel vividly portrays 17th & 18th century England. As a Bildungsroman, it also focuses on the psychological and moral growth of Jim.  

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a short novel published in 1886. In the novel, he deals with the mental condition of human beings and the problems people face in day-to-day life. It also speaks about the struggle to choose between right and wrong. This allegorical novel is based on a nightmare the author had. 

Kidnapped

Kidnapped, published in 1886, is told from the perspective of David Balfour, a recently orphaned young boy of seventeen. The novel is set in Scotland following the Jacobite rebellions. When David knows about his identity and the wealthy background from Mr Campbell, his guardian, he decides to meet his relatives. Unfortunately, his passage was not smooth, and he had to struggle to claim his inheritance and find his place. His experience over time sets the story in motion. 

Catriona or David Balfour

Catriona (David Balfour), published in 1893, is a sequel to ‘Kidnapped’. The storyline follows David Balfour, the central character in ‘Kidnapped’ and his attempts to secure Alan Breck Stewart and James Stewart’s innocence for the murder of Colin Roy, the “Red Fox”. It was published in the magazine Atalanta from December 1892 to September 1893.

The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses

The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses is a historical adventure and a romance novel from 1888. On the backdrop, it has the War of the Roses and beautifully blends the romance of young love and the excitement of the protagonist as he involves in war and politics. It is a classic portrait of England during its most tumultuous era, brimming with action, adventure, suspense, and romance.

The story revolves around Richard (Dick) Shelton during the Wars of the Roses: His struggle to become a knight, His rescue mission to save his lady Joanna Sedley, and his way of obtaining justice for his father’s murder.

The Master of Ballantrae

The Master of Ballantrae: A Winter’s Tale begins in 1745 and is narrated by Mackellar, the loyal, often meddling steward to the respected Durie of the Durisdeer family. It deals with the conflict between two brothers after their family is torn apart by the Jacobite rising of 1745. It was published as a series in Scribner’s Magazine between 1888 and 1889 before being published as a novel in 1889. 

Prince Otto

Prince Otto is a Romance, first published in 1885. Prince Otto of Grunewald is regarded as an incompetent fool, incapable of ruling the kingdom. However, the story takes a turn when he witnesses his people’s opinion and decides to change things around and earn back his wife, Princess Amalia Seraphina’s love.

Poetry Collection

A Child’s Garden of Verses 

A Child’s Garden of Verses (1885), a book of children’s poems, is dedicated to Stevenson’s nurse Cummy (Alison Cunningham). She cared for him during his many childhood illnesses and inspired him to read literature at an early age. The poems in the collection are written from the point of view of a child. It includes some of the well-known poems: “The Land of Counterpane”, “My Shadow“, and “The Lamplighter.”   

Explore the best Robert Louis Stevenson poems.

Short Story Collections

South Sea Tales 

South Sea Tales is a collection of long stories influenced mainly by his new environment after settling down in the pacific region. It includes The Beach of Falesá, The Bottle Imp, The Isle of Voices, and other stories. The stories emerge as a witness to the characteristics of the post-colonial world: the cross-cultural encounters of nineteenth-century imperialism and the creation of the global culture.

New Arabian Nights

New Arabian Nights, published in 1882, is a collection of short stories published in two volumes. The first volume contains seven stories initially called “Later-day Arabian Nights”, published in London Magazine between June and October 1878. The second volume contains four standalone stories published in various magazines. Critics consider the works in the collection to be his best.

Non-Fiction

A Footnote to History, Eight Years of Trouble in Samoa

A Footnote to History, Eight Years of Trouble in Samoa is a Fascinating account of Colonial skulduggery and duplicity published in 1892. It also serves as a background to Stevenson’s great South Seas tales.

Beginning with “The story I have to tell is still going on as I write […. ] it is a piece of contemporary history in the most exact sense,” he brings forth the events alive from centuries ago. He gives a first-hand account of the battle between Britain, the United States, and Germany for control of Samoa during “The first Samoan Civil War” fought between 1886 and 1894

Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes

Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes is one of Robert Louis Stevenson’s earliest published works. Published in 1879, it is considered a pioneering classic of outdoor literature with the earliest records of hiking and camping outdoors. It provides a memorable recount of Stevenson’s solo hiking journey through the Cévennes mountains in south-central France in 1878 with a donkey. 

FAQs

What are the works Steveson published along with his stepson?

Starting from Treasure Island, Stevenson and his stepson Lloyd Osbourne duo worked together on many works. Above all, he has also co-authored with him his most famous works: The Wrong Box (1889), The Wrecker (1892), and The Ebb-Tide (1894).

Which is the first published book by Robert Louis Stevenson? 

An Inland Voyage, published in 1878, is the first book published by R.L. Stevenson. It is a travelogue, recounting Stevenson’s journey through Belgium and France along canals and the Oise River and his friend Sir Walter Grindlay Simpson made in 1876.

What did Robert Louis Stevenson write?

The Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson is noted for writing novels, essays, poetry, short stories, and travelogues. His writings are known for their literary and comprehensible style, which is easy to understand and gets the point across very well. Most of his works are based on his personal experiences.

What are Robert Louis Stevenson’s most famous stories?

R.L. Stevenson, during his twenty years of Literary career, wrote many works as he experimented with almost all genre forms. Even after centuries, he is noted for his unique writing style and his inspiring works such as Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and A Child’s Garden of Verses.

Miz Alb
About Miz Alb
Miz Alb is a passionate reader of literature. She loves to look deep through the nuances of a literary work. She has secured her post-graduation in English Literature. With her learning as a background, she is analyzing the literary works down the ages.
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