In The South Seas

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Penguin Books Limited, Oct 29, 1998 - Fiction - 283 pages
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"The first experience can never be repeated. The first love, the first sunrise, the first South Sea island, are memories apart ..."

In the South Seas records Stevenson's travels with his wife Fanny and their family in the Marquesas, the Paumotus, and the Gilbert Islands during 1888-9. Originally drafted in journal form while Stevenson travelled, it was then ambitiously rewritten to describe the islands and islanders as well as Stevenson's own personal experiences. These revisions continued when Stevenson settled on the Samoan island where he died in 1894, and In the South Seas was published posthumously in 1896. Its combination of personal anecdote and historical account, of autobiography and anthropology, of Stevenson and South Sea islands, has a particular charm.

Neil Rennie, who provides in this Penguin Classics edition the first critically emended text, writes: "In the South Seas, for all its imperfections, is a classic of Pacific travel, the work of the best British writer to see the South Seas ... Stevenson had travelled far from Treasure Island."

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Interesting but a hard read.

User Review  - starla7 - Overstock.com

Stevenson is a hard read. I don't believe most people would enjoy reading these, although informative, it just isn't a fun sit down and read through type of book. ... Read full review

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About the author (1998)

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) was born in Edinburgh. In the brief span of forty-four years, dogged by poor health, he made an enormous contribution to English literature with his novels, poetry, and essays. The son of upper-middle-class parents, he was the victim of lung trouble from birth, and spent a sheltered childhood surrounded by constant care. The balance of his life was taken up with his unremitting devotion to work, and a search for a cure to his illness that took him all over the world. His travel essays were publihsed widely, and his short fiction was gathered in many volumes. His first full-length work of fiction, Treasure Island, was published in 1883 and brought him great fame, which only increased with the publication of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886). He followed with the Scottish romances Kidnapped (1886) and The Master of Ballantrae (1889). In 1888 he set out with his family for the South Seas, traveling to the leper colony at Molokai, and finally settling in Samoa, where he died.

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