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Robert Louis Stevenson

1850 — 1894

Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, and travel writer, and a leading representative of Neo-romanticism in English literature. Stevenson was a celebrity in his own time, but with the rise of modern literature after World War I, he was seen for much of the 20th century as a writer of the second class, relegated to children’s literature and horror genres. Condemned by authors such as Virginia and Leonard Woolf, he was gradually excluded from the canon of literature taught in schools. His exclusion reached a height when in the 1973 2,000-page Oxford Anthology of English Literature Stevenson was entirely unmentioned.

The late 20th century however, saw the start of a re-evaluation of Stevenson as an artist of great range and insight, a literary theorist, an essayist and social critic, a witness to the colonial history of the Pacific Islands, and a humanist. Stevenson is now being considered as a peer of authors such as Joseph Conrad (whom Stevenson influenced with his South Seas fiction) and Henry James, with new scholarly studies and organizations devoted to Stevenson. No matter what the scholarly reception, Stevenson remains very popular around the world, and is ranked the 25th most translated author in the world, ahead of fellow nineteenth-century writers Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde and Edgar Allan Poe. (source: Wikipedia)

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