Do students still read Robert Louis Stevenson? Treasure Island? The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? Or have cinema and television overtaken literature, the adaptation become the source, and the source forgotten?
Stevenson was a mainstay of my childhood, a lingering consequence of his immense Victorian popularity. I suggest that it was this popularity that removed him from today’s scholarly reading lists.
On a recent visit to Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, I came across a small monument that mentioned his honeymoon there in 1880 (he married a San Franciscan) and the short travelogue he wrote, Silverado Squatters. To be sure, the style is from another era, but it is witty and alive with observation and analysis.