A few words about book's author
Robert Louis Stevenson, novelist, poet, and essayist, was born in Edinburgh on November 13, 1850. Ill health interrupted his formal education at Edinburgh University and plagued him throughout his life. Leading a bohemian existence during his twenties and thirties, his travels throughout Europe formed the basis of his first two books, An Inland Voyage (1878) and Travels With a Donkey (1879). In 1875 he settled into the artists colony at Barbizon and began writing for English magazines. There he met Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne, a married woman ten years his senior, with whom he fell in love. In 1879 he followed her to San Francisco (which gave rise to An Amateur Emigrant). After she obtained a divorce, they married and for the next eight years traveled a great deal in Europe and America in search of good health. Stevenson remained industrious and during this period wrote Treasure Island (1883), his first popular success. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Kidnapped appeared in 1886, followed by The Black Arrow in 1888. The Stevensons finally settled in Samoa, where he became involved in politics and was known as Tusitala, the Teller of Tales. He was dictating Weir of Hermiston on December 3, 1894, the day he died of a cerebral hemorrhage.
Vladimir Nabokov was born in 1899 in St. Petersburg, Russia to a trilingual household; he could read and write in English before Russian or French. The family went into exile after the Bolshevik revolution, living in various European cities, including Berlin and Prague. In 1940 Nabokov and his wife and son fled the Nazis for America, where he taught college and wrote Lolita, published in 1955. After that book’s tremendous success, he was able to write full-time and moved back to Europe, eventually settling in Montreaux, Switzerland. Among his other notable books are Pale Fire (1962) and Ada (1969). In addition to his writing, he was a noted entomologist specializing in butterflies. He died in 1977.
Dan Chaon is the author of the novels Await Your Reply and You Remind Me of Me, and two short story collections, Fitting Ends and the 2001 National Book Award Finalist Among the Missing. His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Story, Ploughshares, and TriQuarterly, as well as Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize 2000. The recipient of numerous prizes and honors, he is the Pauline Delaney Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at Oberlin College.
Kelly Hurley is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she teaches Victorian studies, literary theory, and popular culture. She is the author of The Gothic Body: Sexuality, Materialism, and Degeneration at the Fin de Siècle, as well as various articles on Victorian and contemporary Gothic. Her next book is on horror film spectatorship.
Robert Louis Stevenson was born in 1850 in Edinburgh. His father was an engineer, the head of a family firm that had constructed most of Scotlands lighthouses, and the family had a comfortable income. Stevenson was an only child and was often ill; as a result, he was much coddled by both his parents and his long-time nurse. The family took frequent trips to southern Europe to escape the cruel Edinburgh winters, trips that, along with his many illnesses, caused Stevenson to miss much of his formal schooling. He entered Edinburgh University in 1867, intending to become an engineer and enter the family business, but he was a desultory, disengaged student and never took a degree. In 1871, Stevenson switched his study to law, a profession which would leave time for his already-budding literary ambitions, and he managed to pass the bar in 1875. Illness put an end to his legal career before it had even started, and Stevenson spent the next few years traveling in Europe and writing travel essays and literary criticism. In 1876, Stevenson fell in love with Fanny Vandergrift Osbourne, a married American woman more than ten years his senior, and returned with her to London, where he published his first fiction, The Suicide Club. In 1879, Stevenson set sail for America, apparently in response to a telegram from Fanny, who had returned to California in an attempt to reconcile with her husband. Fanny obtained a divorce and the couple married in 1880, eventually returning to Europe, where they lived for the next several years. Stevenson was by this time beset by terrifying lung hemorrhages that would appear without warning and required months of convalescence in a healthy climate. Despite his periodic illnesses and his peripatetic life, Stevenson completed some of his most enduring works during this period: Treasure Island (1883), A Childs Garden of Verses (1885), Kidnapped (1886), and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886). After his fathers death and a trip to Edinburgh which he knew would be his last, Stevenson set sail once more for America in 1887 with his wife, mother, and stepson. In 1888, after spending a frigid winter in the Adirondack Mountains, Stevenson chartered a yacht and set sail from California bound for the South Pacific. The Stevensons spent time in Tahiti, Hawaii, Micronesia, and Australia, before settling in Samoa, where Stevenson bought a plantation called Vailima. Though he kept up a vigorous publishing schedule, Stevenson never returned to Europe. He died of a sudden brain hemorrhage on December 3, 1894. Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.Good To Know
It has been said that Stevenson may well be the inventor of the sleeping bag — he described a large fleece-lined sack he brought along to sleep in on a journey through France in his book Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes. Long John Silver, the one-legged pirate cook in Stevensons classic Treasure Island, is said to be based on the authors friend William Ernest Henley, whom he met when Henley was in Edinburgh for surgery to save his one good leg from tuberculosis. Stevenson died in 1894 at Vailima,, his home on the South Pacific island of Upolu, Samoa. He was helping his wife make mayonnaise for dinner when he suffered a fatal stroke.