The Master of Ballantrae takes a deep, disturbing turn after Kidnapped and Catriona, with its tale of rival brothers caught in a web of hatred, obsession, love and betrayal which draws them to adventures in frozen wastes of North America. Stevenson's fascination with the divided nature of the human self, so famously demonstrated in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, recurs in Weir of Hermiston with its awful father-son confrontation.
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About the Author
Robert Louis Stevenson's real life adventures rival those of his famous fictional characters. Born into a strictly religious, middle-class Edinburgh family, he later rebelled and refused to follow his father into the lighthouse construction business, opting instead for a literary career and marriage to Fanny, the love of his life and a crack-shot American divorcee. His travels took him to France, America and the South Pacific. Stevenson was an atheist and free spirit—in Samoa, where he died, he fought in a civil war for independence. In 1886, the blockbuster novel Kidnapped was published—a dramatic adventure of abduction and life on the run in the wilds of Scotland. Stevenson died in 1894, just 44 years old. The Samoan natives, who were devoted to Stevenson, cut a track through the jungle to create a resting place for him on top of the mountain above his beloved Vailima estate.