Catriona (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)

Catriona (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)

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by Robert Louis Stevenson, Caroline McCracken-Flesher
     
 

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"'Catriona' so reeks and hums with genius that there is no refuge for the desperate reader but in straightforward prostration." - Henry James

Robert Louis Stevenson considered Catriona, the lively sequel to Kidnapped, his best work. At the end of Kidnapped, young David Balfour enters an Edinburgh bank to claim his inheritance., In

Overview


"'Catriona' so reeks and hums with genius that there is no refuge for the desperate reader but in straightforward prostration." - Henry James

Robert Louis Stevenson considered Catriona, the lively sequel to Kidnapped, his best work. At the end of Kidnapped, young David Balfour enters an Edinburgh bank to claim his inheritance., In the opening scene of Catriona, he comes out moneybags in hand. While Balfour entered the bank a somewhat stolid teenager; he exits into young manhood to contend with all the complexities of politics, love, and family

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781411430990
Publisher:
Barnes & Noble
Publication date:
09/01/2009
Series:
Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
File size:
684 KB

Meet the Author



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 Scotland's 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 Child's Garden of Verses (1885), Kidnapped (1886), and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886).

After his father's 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.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
November 13, 1850
Date of Death:
December 3, 1894
Place of Birth:
Edinburgh, Scotland
Place of Death:
Vailima, Samoa
Education:
Edinburgh University, 1875

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Catriona (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading) 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
InTheBookcase More than 1 year ago
This book was superb. I absolutely loved the enthralling plots taking place right along with the memorable characters. The storyline picks up exactly where the prequel, Kidnapped, leaves off. (So I recommend reading Catriona immediately after you finish the first book). David Balfour, orphaned, is a young man with his mind made up to do something. He's going to help a couple of friends clear the black mark off their names before they are wrongfully sent to the gallows. Being mixed in with such a horrible crime also puts David in a risky place even though he wants to help his friends. While in the midst of all the trials with lawyers, judges, and so many questions, David also makes a new friend, Catriona. She's a great person and wants to help David and do anything he asks – there's just one problem. Her father, James Monroe, is somehow mixed into the same crime that David is trying to get his friends out of. James Monroe might be a terrible enemy to David. Just like in Kidnapped, Alan Breck is in on the adventure too, with his strange, peculiar ways – always making him a thrilling character when he appears. I thought this book was just as entertaining as the first. For me, it was a lot of fun to read, but sometimes the reading is a little harder than other books.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Robert Louis Stevenson's novel 'Catriona' continues the run of bad luck that befell the young narrator, David Balfour, in 'Kidnapped.' I am glad the book has won new life in the Barnes and Noble Library of Essential Reading, but I do take issue with the feminist interpretation given in the introduction by Caroline McCracken-Flesher, professor of English at the University of Wyoming. While it is easy enough to understand how turn-of-the-century post-modernists view women characters primarily from a pro-feminist, anti-Victorian mindset, Catriona just will not fit into that construct. Catriona is far more like a manipulative Zelda Fitzgerald than a reasoned Eleanor Roosevelt. She snivels behind a closed door to make herself appear a misunderstood lady of good breeding, exhibits unwarranted jealousy toward Barbara Grant, and switches from love to hatred of David from chapter to chapter and even page to page. She deliberately jumps from a ship which is taking her to a place of safety into a small boat taking her to a place where she does not know the language and has no money. This shows her not to be a risk-taking woman, but a she-cat at the mercy of her busy emotions. She has all the earmarks of a Borderline Disorder Personality. A strong feminist character would be more sublime. It would be better to read 'Catriona' as the continuation of the journey of a naive narrator who is not a good judge of those whom he must trust whether it be family, clan, king, friend, or the entire judicial system of Scotland. 'Catriona' simply continues his education in the ways of the world by extending to beauty what Stevenson had already proven to be true of the clans and factions of the eighteenth-century Scottish male. Davie simply cannot trust his naive view of life, loyalty, and love. McCracken-Flesher comments specifically on a passage near the end of the book where Davie invites Catriona to accompany him to visit her just-as-treacherous father, to which she coyly agrees, 'If it be your pleasure.' To this, Davie, in an aside to the reader, remarks, 'These were early days.' McCracken-Flesher believes this passage proves that 'narrating from a distance of years, [David] has grown into a fuller understanding of gender relationships and married roles.' Possibly. But I think it just as likely to indicate that it will take the naive Davie many years to understand what the sympathetic reader was aware of by the end of Part I: alas, Catriona's words do not match her agenda. That Davie falls for her shows not that women can be just as strong as men, but that they can be just as treacherous.
Guest More than 1 year ago
True Stevenson fans will relish this continuation of the story began in Kidnapped. I loved the innocent interplay of the passion developing between David and Catronia. Alan Breck has a few interesting pages as well. Drenched in old Scot vernacular, you will not be disappointed.