Robert Louis Stevenson was born in 1850 in Edinburgh, the son of an engineer. He briefly studied engineering, then law, and contributed to university magazines while a student. Despite life-long poor health, he was an enthusiastic traveller, writing about European travels in the late 1870s and marrying in America in 1879. He contributed to various periodicals, writing first essays and later fiction. His first novel was Treasure Island in 1883, intended for his stepson, who collaborated with Stevenson on two later novels. Some of Stevenson's subsequent novels are insubstantial popular romances, but others possess a deepening psychological intensity. He also wrote a handful of plays in collaboration with W.E. Henley. In 1888, he left England for his health, and never returned, eventually settling in Samoa after travelling in the Pacific islands. His time here was one of relatively good health and considerable writing, as well as of deepening concern for the Polynesian islanders under European exploitation, expressed in fictional and factual writing from his final years, some of which was so contrary to contemporary culture that a full text remained unavailable until well after Stevenson's death. R. L. Stevenson died of a brain haemorrhage in 1894.
Catrionaby Robert Louis Stevenson
We rejoin David Balfour, who, no sooner than he's back in his Edinburgh estate, gets caught up in the aftermath of the Appin murder. He knows the accused man is innocent and plans to testify, but is waylaid by
Catriona is the sequel to Kidnapped and one of Stevenson's own favorites. He considered it his "high water mark," saying he would "never do a better book."
We rejoin David Balfour, who, no sooner than he's back in his Edinburgh estate, gets caught up in the aftermath of the Appin murder. He knows the accused man is innocent and plans to testify, but is waylaid by adventure, during the course of which he falls in love with the Rob Roy Macgregor's granddaughter, Catriona. Obstacles plague Balfour, but the struggle is the story. We give nothing away by saying it ends on a hopeful note.
"A great adventure, a touching love story." (B-O-T Editorial Review Board)
- 1st World Library
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.85(d)
Meet the Author
- Date of Birth:
- November 13, 1850
- Date of Death:
- December 3, 1894
- Place of Birth:
- Edinburgh, Scotland
- Place of Death:
- Vailima, Samoa
- Edinburgh University, 1875
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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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.
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.
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.