IN THE SOUTH SEAS records Stevenson's travels with his wife Fanny and their family in the Marquesas, the Paumotus and the Gilbert Islands during 1888-9. Originally drafted in journal form while Stevenson travelled, it was then ambitiously rewrittento describe the islands and islanders as well as Stevenson's own personal experiences. IN THE SOUTH SEAS was published posthumously in 1896. Its combination of personal anecdote and historical account, of autobiography and anthropology, of Stevenson and South Sea Islands, has a particular charm.
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94) became a professional writer when he became afflicted with a severe respiratory illness in his early twenties. Many of his works are available in Penguin Classics, including' Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' and 'Weir of Hermiston'.Neil Rennie is a Lecturer in English at UCL, and is currently completing a book about travel writing and the New World for OUP.