Books: Skulduggery Robert Louis Stevenson and the Beach of Falesa

Barry Menikoff Stanford; 199 pages; $24.50


Sometime in 1891, Robert Louis Stevenson completed a novella-length narrative about the South Pacific called The Beach of Falesa. By this time, the Scottish-born and immensely popular author was living in Samoa, at a far remove from his publishers in London and New York City; an answer to a letter sent by steamer mail took three months to return. As a result, Stevenson delegated loose authority over his manuscripts to several confidants, to speed up both the process of getting into print and the payment of his royalties. But editors on both sides of the Atlantic were perturbed by certain...

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