Familiar Studies of Men and Books
This collection of literary essays by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94) explores the lives and works of nine writers from around the world and across ... Show synopsis This collection of literary essays by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94) explores the lives and works of nine writers from around the world and across the centuries, including Victor Hugo, Robert Burns, Walt Whitman and Samuel Pepys. Published together in 1882, the studies here had previously appeared in periodicals, chiefly the Cornhill Magazine, and are known for their conversational style and unusual combination of character assessment and scholarly critique. In his preface, Stevenson describes the book as 'the readings of a literary vagrant', emphasising that the essays were inspired by a genuine personal interest in the authors and their works. Over the course of his own career as a writer, Stevenson published in a wide range of literary forms and genres. Today this collection reveals much about the diversity of his influences and tastes, as well as offering an insight into his moral and aesthetic values.