ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON IN SAMOA by JOSEPH FARRELL PUBLISHED by QUERCUS LONDON That name, Robert Louis Stevenson, may not be so well known to younger readers, but two of his books will be Treasure Island and Kidnapped.
Booth have been picked up by television, so even non-readers will have enjoyed their adventures. Of the man himself? If you would like to learn about him, this is the book for you, though, of course, there is an emphasis on his years in Samoa.
The Samoan people knew of him as a “teller of tales”, but he was much more than that to them. He championed their cause to throw off the colonial yoke, to become independent. He embraced their customs, their culture and their way of life, as few Europeans had ever done before or since his time there.
“I love the people, and have chosen them to be my people to live with and to die with.” That is exactly what happened.
He was buried on the site he had chosen, atop Mount Vaea, overlooking the land he had loved so much.
It is an extraordinary journey that this Scottish writer took, and one which is worth discovering.
Joseph Farrell must have been delighted with this comment about his tribute to RLS, written by Clare Harman, whose biography of the author have been well received in earlier years. “Scholarly, engaging, and deeply thoughtful, Joseph Farrell’s account of Stevenson’s last four years in Samoa has the feel of an instant classic.” Praise indeed, and well deserved.