Special Publication: The Robert Louis Stevenson Website

Robert Louis Stevenson logo

The Robert Louis Stevenson Website, a project funded by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, will be a freely available online resource dedicated to the life and works of Robert Louis Stevenson (RLS). The site will make Stevenson’s texts and information about his life and works available worldwide, appealing to students, scholars and enthusiasts. Originally created by Professor Richard Dury of the University of Bergamo, the site has been redesigned and extended under the guidance of Professor Linda Dryden of the Centre for Literature and Writing (CLAW) at Edinburgh Napier UniversityDr Hilary Grimes is the research assistant for the project, assisted by web designer, Callum Egan. This project is supported by Edinburgh and Stirling Universities, literary trusts like the Edinburgh City of Literature, the Writers’ Museum of Edinburgh, the RLS Club and other Stevenson enthusiasts, museum curators and academics worldwide.

The newly designed website contains pages devoted to each of Stevenson’s texts, including plot synopses, downloadable full texts with page turner facilities, and information about their publication and reception. Also included are biographical pages, and information on family, friends, and major authors associated with Stevenson. Other pages outline information about locations to visit and links to tourist information. Details of RLS museums and libraries with significant Stevenson collections, links to useful Stevenson sites, lists of bibliographies for further reading, and a recommended academic reading list with brief synopses of critical works will also be available. Furthermore, the site will provide bibliographies listing the film, television, radio, play and other adaptations of Stevenson’s works.

Galleries of images of places and people associated with Stevenson and of RLS himself will be a particular feature of the website. A unique entry on the site is a web page dedicated to the holdings of the Writers’ Museum, including many photographs and images of artefacts never before seen by the public. A Schools section contains information and resources for school students, including reading packs from the City of Literature and a recommended reading list for young scholars. Full-texts of past issues of the Journal of Stevenson Studies, a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to Stevenson scholarship, will be available to download. The Community section of the RLS Web contains pages of information about Stevenson societies throughout the world, the RLS Newsletter, contact details for scholars who can share their expertise on Stevenson, and a forum for discussion and contribution to Stevenson scholarship.

This new RLS website will be a considerable resource for scholars and enthusiasts of Stevenson, more comprehensive than any current such resource. It will not only provide information and images about Stevenson, but will also situate Stevenson firmly in Edinburgh, focusing on the city’s—and Scotland’s—influence on his writing, an aspect of Stevenson studies which has too often been overlooked. Collecting together under one site all the past and current scholarly work on Stevenson, as well as the full texts and a significant proportion of the available photographs and images of objects, this site will reach a world-wide audience, many of whom could not travel to the places where such items are located. As such, the website will make a significant contribution to the growing reputation of RLS as an important literary and figure of the late nineteenth century.

The Robert Louis Stevenson website will be launched on 13 November 2009 and the URL for the site will be available to the general public from that date.

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