Colvin (1901) The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson to his Family and Friends


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Colvin, Sidney. The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson to his Family and Friends. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1901). Two volumes

Octavo. Two volumes: Vol. 1: xliii, 443 pages, 8 illustrations. Vol. 2: xiii, 465 pages including index, 6 illustrations. Hardcover. Bound in red pebble-textured cloth-covered boards stamped in gilt on spine with gilt RLS monogram on front cover. Top edge gilt, edges untrimmed,

Condition: VG. Some darkening of spine with slight wear at top and bottom of spine cover. Hinges tight, previous owner;s signature of first free endpaper of each volume.  Darkening to each Title Page transferred from frontispiece tissue protector. Shows wear commensurate with age, though remains a trooper and is holding up well.

Sir Sidney Colvin (18 June 1845 – 11 May 1927) was an English curator and literary and art critic, part of the illustrious Anglo-Indian Colvin family. He is primarily remembered for his friendship with Robert Louis Stevenson.

In late summer 1873, Colvin became friends with Robert Louis Stevenson, then a young man and an unpublished author. Soon after their first meeting he had placed Stevenson’s first paid contribution, an essay, “Roads”, in The Portfolio. Both men were attracted to [Frances Jane, née Fetherstonhaugh] Sitwell; Stevenson wrote to her for years. Despite or because of this attraction, the men remained firm friends. Stevenson dedicated Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes to Colvin, who became his literary adviser.

Colvin was a significant editor of Stevenson’s, preparing the Edinburgh edition of his works (1894–97); the Vailima Letters (1899), which Stevenson chiefly addressed to him; and the posthumous collection of Letters (2 volumes, London, 1900). These publications made Colvin an authority on Stevenson’s life and work. He also wrote the sketch of Stevenson for the Dictionary of National Biography (vol. liv.), and was to have written an authoritative Life, intended for publication simultaneously with the Letters, but was obliged to relinquish the task to Graham Balfour. – Wikipedia