News from the Stevenson Edition volume editors: the Essays

Image of Robert Louis Stevenson.Stevenson, essayist
According to the essay editors:

One of our main aims is to make clear the importance of Stevenson as an essayist. In his own lifetime and in the following decades, his essays were included among his most important works. But with Modernism, the personal essay (despite its noble ancestry from Montaigne onwards) fell into disrepute—was even declared to be ‘dead’. In part this is because the essay is in an undefined position at the edge of the literary system, yet it is a focus of innovative writing in the USA today.

By providing a proper edition with notes, background information to composition, variants and an index we hope to allow both scholars and ordinary readers to take a fresh look at these works. People in the past who have read them have always been very impressed, then surprised to see so little written about them. Our edition hopes to make clear the importance of Stevenson’s essays—and even if it doesn’t, the editors are enjoying working together on the project anyway.

Visit the Stevenson Edition blog to read the full post.



  1. Not sure if I agree that ‘with Modernism, the personal essay … fell into disrepute’. Two of the greatest Modernists, Woolf and Eliot, were brilliant essayists, after all…

    1. Thanks for the qualification there, Katie. Feel free to post your comment in the Stevenson blog too, as it’d be great to see if it generates some discourse on the matter!

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