Robert Louis Stevenson and theories of reading is both an exceptionally well researched study of the novelist, and well as an intriguing exploration of 'literary consumption'.
Glenda Norquay presents fresh interpretations of Stevenson's literary essays, of major works including The Master of Ballantrae, and some of his more neglected fiction such as St Ives and The Wrecker, as well as illuminating our understanding of his role within debates over popular fiction, romance and reading pleasure. She offers an unusual combination of literary history and reception theory and argues that Stevenson both exemplified tensions within the literary market of his time and anticipated later developments in reading theory. By combining the study of nineteenth-century cultural politics with detailed analysis of his Scottish Calvinism, Stevenson is reassessed as both a Victorian and Scottish writer.
The book is aimed at scholars, postgraduates and undergraduates with an interest in the nineteenth-century literary marketplace, in Scottish culture, and in reading /reception theory as well as Stevenson enthusiasts. -- .
Glenda Norquay is Professor of Scottish Literary Studies at Liverpool John Moores University -- .
1. Introduction: the vagabonding reader 2. The Calvinist configuration 3. A 'fictitious article': Stevenson and nineteenth-century literary culture 4. 'Whores of the mind': the analysis of pleasure 5. 'A landmark on the plains of history': Covenanting history and The Master of Ballantrae 6. Textual haunting: Stevenson and Dumas 7. Trading texts: Stevenson and the popular 8. Conclusion -- .