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Provence and the British Imagination

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Claire Davison
, 
Béatrice Laurent
, 
Caroline Patey
, 
et al.

Victorian variations

“Such ecstasies of recognition”: R. L. Stevenson’s “Ordered South” (1874) as Riviera Requiem

Jean-Pierre Naugrette

Texte intégral

1While it is well-known that Robert Louis Stevenson travelled in the Cévennes (Travels with a Donkey), to the United States and California (The Amateur Emigrant, The Silverado Squatters), to the South Seas and Samoa where he died in 1894 (In the South Seas), he is not usually associated with the French Riviera. And yet, he stayed four times there, especially at Mentone: twice in 1863-1864 with his family (4 February-31 March 1863, then 24 December-Late May 1864), a third and longer time in 1873, when he was ‘ordered south’ by Dr Andrew Clark for health reasons, and last but not least, for a longer time, in Hyères with his wife Fanny (February 1883-early June 1884). His stay in Mentone between 13 November 1873 and 31 March 1874 he recorded in his essay “Ordered South”, first published in Macmillan’s Magazine in May 1874, later to be collected in Virginibus Puerisque (1881). As opposed to previous stays, he was sent there alone, probably because doctors’ orders had not only to do with a form of tuberculosis (perhaps bronchiectasis) he had been suffering from since a child, but also with a nervous breakdown induced by his rebelling against the Calvinist religion embodied by his father. Between January and the autumn of 1873, painful conversations between Louis and his father took place, a “prolonged crisis” according to David Daiches (1973, 27) during which he was very much aware of the pain he was causing at home, as evidenced by a letter to his best friend then, Mrs Frances Sitwell:

We have had an awful scene. All my father had to say has been put forth – not that it was anything new; only it is the devil to hear. O dear God, I don’t know what to do – the world goes hopelessly round about me – there is no more possibility of doing, living, being anything but a beast and there’s the end of it […] I am killing my father – he told me tonight (by the way) that I alienated utterly my mother – and this is the result of my attempt to start fresh and fair and to do my best for all of them. (Stevenson 1994, 311-12)

2Mrs Sitwell and her future husband Sidney Colvin, two obvious mother and father substitutes and figures at the time, would support Louis during this crisis, which prompted Dr Clark to order him south as a change from home. Once in Mentone, Louis would write to Charles Baxter: “I am away in my own beautiful Riviera and I am free now from the horrible worry and misery that was playing the devil with me at home” (Stevenson 1994, 369). The recurring ‘devil’ imagery used twice may be read as a symptom of his not being completely freed from a sense of religious guilt. It is against this chaotic family background and within this specific context that he reaches Provence in early November: first Orange, then Avignon, Marseilles, and Mentone, where he arrived on November 13, i.e. on his very birthday.

First Impressions: “The Shock of Wonder and Delight”

3His first impressions when reaching Provence are enthusiastic, as evidenced for instance by his description of Avignon, in a letter to Frances Sitwell:

Crossing the bridge and seeing the brown turbid water foam and eddy about the piers, one could scarce believe one’s eyes when one looked down the stream and saw the smooth blue mirroring tree and hill. Over on the other side, the sun beat down so furiously on the white road that I was glad to keep in the shadow and, when the occasion offered, to turn aside among the olive yards…

4Or of Orange, in the same letter:

My first impression was on rising at Orange and throwing open the shutters. Such a great living flood of sunshine poured in upon me, that I confessed to having danced and expressed my satisfaction aloud […] Today has been one long delight […] I hope this time to send you a weekly dose of sunshine from the south, instead of the jet of snell Edinburgh east wind that used to was. (Stevenson 1994, 360-62)

5Crossing the bridge (as transition) or opening the shutters (as exposure) could be read as images which are fit to convey the sense of one’s having crossed the borderline between North and South. What the invalid expects on his way to the South is:

The shock of wonder and delight with which he will learn that he has passed the indefinable line that separates South from North. And this is an uncertain moment; for sometimes the consciousness is forced upon him early, on the occasion of some slight association, a colour, a flower, or a scent; and sometimes not until, one fine morning, he wakes up with the southern sunshine peeping through the persiennes, and the southern patois confusedly audible below the windows. […] There is something in the mere name of the South that carries enthusiasm along with it. (Stevenson [1874] 1924, 62-63)

6A similar sense of transition expressed in terms of a shock is given by the narrator in Maupassant’s story ‘Les Sœurs Rondoli’ (1884):

Le réveil eut lieu comme nous filions le long du Rhône. Et bientôt le cri continu des cigales entrant par la portière, ce cri qui semble la voix de la terre chaude, le chant de la Provence, nous jeta dans la figure, dans la poitrine, dans l’âme la gaie sensation du Midi, la saveur du sol brûlé, de la patrie pierreuse et claire de l’olivier trapu au feuillage vert de gris. (Maupassant 1984, 980)

7If the borderline between North and South is difficult to make out, it is best expressed by “some slight association”, or by a rush of sensations like “living flood of sunshine” pouring down (as opposed to rain, in Edinburgh), much in the same way as the narrator of Henry James’s contemporary story “At Isella” (1962), published in 1871 in Galaxy, looks out for “premonitions” or “symptoms of Italy” in the Swiss mountains. He, too, repeats “To Italy!”, whatever it means, as a mode of travelling, as if uttering the very name were enough: what matters for him, in this “grand absence of detail”, is “the radiance of this broad fact” (James 1962, 158). But suddenly, “the growing warmth of the air, a fancied elegance of leaf and twig”, “the gust of a mild climate” materialize into his coming “upon a sensation”: “[a] little house painted a hot salmon colour” (James 1962, 164), un petit pan de mur saumon which is enough to epitomize Italy. In both cases, Italy and Provence are supposed to provide symptoms or signs which will enable the traveller to recognise them on his way. Better than a customs house, coming “upon a sensation” is the best way to make sure that you have crossed the Alps and reached Italy, or any specific town in Italy:

Il y a quelques semaines, j’ai fait un bref voyage en Italie. Le soir, à la gare de Milan, il faisait froid, brumeux, crasseux. Un train partait; sur chaque wagon une pancarte jaune portait les mots “Milano-Lecce”. J’ai fait alors un rêve: prendre ce train, voyager toute la nuit et me retrouver au matin dans la lumière, la douceur, le calme d’une ville extrême.

8This is Roland Barthes talking about his yearning for Lecce in the very last text he wrote – for a Stendhal Conference in Milan – entitled “On échoue toujours à parler de ce qu’on aime” (Barthes [1980 [1984], 335).

9The very title of Barthes’s essay raises a key question, which Stevenson, while staying at Mentone, was also faced with: to what extent is it possible to convey one’s impressions and sensations? This is a recurring issue, especially in his letters at the time. A second issue is raised by what James calls “premonitions” or “symptoms”, or what Barthes aptly describes as “me retrouver au matin”, which implies that one has already found oneself “dans la lumière, la douceur, le calme d’une ville extrême”: what Stevenson, in “Ordered South”, describes as “ecstasies of recognition” (Stevenson [1874] 1924, 63).

Conveying Impressions: “The Sky Was Blue”

10As soon as he reaches Avignon, Stevenson is aware of a major difficulty, which will haunt him throughout his stay in Provence, as he voices it to Mrs Sitwell:

I have just read your letter up on the top of the hill beside the church and castle. The whole air was filled with sunset and the sound of bells; and I wish I could give you the least notion of the southerness and Provençality of all that I saw. (Stevenson 1994, 359)

11Right from the start, Stevenson indeed feels the inadequacy of writing when confronted with the almost impossible task of rendering “Such a great living flood of sunshine” pouring into his retina. Again, on 29 November, before closing yet another letter to Frances Sitwell:

I wish I could send it full of the splendid sunshine; sea and sky are as blue as they know how to be and the outline of hill and tree seems just on edge with joy to be so near the Heaven – you should see how the hills reach up their bald heads and make themselves as tall as they can, all for the love of the blue! (Stevenson 1994, 381-82)

12The comparison –“sea and sky are as blue as they know how to be”– shows that Stevenson’s writing style is potentially undermined by the temptation of repetition and truism. Since “southerness” and “Provençality” are elusive, since colours cannot be adequately transcribed into compelling words, since exposure to the sun and the sea tends to blind or dazzle the observer, writing about the South and Provence will partly consist not only in admitting this inadequacy, but also writing about it. During a hot day when he has been “drinking in sunshine”, Stevenson goes for a walk near his hotel and looks up into the sky:

The white corner of the hotel, with a wide projection at the top, stood out in dazzling relief; and there was nothing else, save a few of the plane leaves that had got up wonderfully high and turned and eddied and flew here and there like little pieces of gold leaf, to break the extraordinary sea of blue. It was bluer than anything in the world here; wonderfully blue, and looking deeply peaceful, although in truth there was a high wind blowing […] I repeat, as the grand result of my morning, ‘the sky was blue’. (Stevenson 1994, 384)

13In fact, Stevenson feels the basic inadequacy of the phrase “sea of blue”, since the sea is “bluer” than the word ‘blue’ itself could suggest: symptomatically, the plane leaves are described as breaking “the extraordinary sea of blue”. The repetition of the phrase and of the colour smacks too much of clichés about the South and the sea, as in the Beatles’ famous song Yellow Submarine (1966) – Sky of blue, and sea of green/In our yellow submarine – in which, among the other colours mentioned, only the yellow submarine (or, for that matter, in Blake Edwards’1959 film Operation Petticoat, a pink one) does not fit in with the usual clichés about submarines. If Stevenson in his letters as well as in “Ordered South” is prone and doomed to using clichés partaking of what Barthes would call the ‘mythology’ of the South (1957), it is probably because the colours of Provence and the South tend to defy his writing palette:

And then, there is no end to the infinite variety of the olive-yards themselves. Even the colour is indeterminate and continually shifting: now you would say it was green, now gray, now blue; now tree stands above tree, like “cloud on cloud”, massed into filmy indistinctness. (Stevenson [1874] 1924, 65)

14The ‘now… now’ kind of syntax corresponds to his inability to fix a permanent, adequate colour: hence also the somewhat disillusioned “the sky was blue”, as if this could not be proved, since, at the moment when he writes those lines, the sky has already changed colour. Again, in another letter to Mrs Sitwell:

The sea is blue, gray, purple and green; very subdued and peaceful; earlier in the day it was marbled by small keen specks of sun and larger spaces of faint irradiation; but the clouds have closed together now, and these appearances are no more. (Stevenson 1994, 413)

15Part of the difficulty stems from the discrepancy between the moment of writing and the moment of seeing: “I cannot write while I am travelling; c’est un défaut; but so it is” (1994: 359), he admits to Mrs Sitwell, in the very same letter where he wishes he could give her “the least notion of the southerness and Provençality” of what he sees. How can he write accurately about Provence if colours change all the time? Hence his kind of double bind: either he sticks to clichés, as he often does in the essay and then the sea or the sky, by definition, will always remain blue even if the word is inadequate, or he tries to follow up the ever shifting, changing and moving colours of Provence, and then the attempt is hopeless: On échoue toujours à parler de ce qu’on aime, in Roland Barthes’s words.

16Another difficulty has more to do with aesthetics, or the potential relationship between literature and painting, at a time when John Singer Sargent, for one, spent part of the winter of 1874-1875 in Nice, before moving on to Capri in 1878, as exemplified by the London Royal Academy Exhibition Sargent and the Sea (10 July-26 September 2010). If Stevenson’s experience at Mentone is indeed pivotal in his literary career (Abrahamson 2009), it is, we would like to argue, because it enabled Stevenson to become acutely aware of an aesthetic predicament.

17On the one hand, it is tempting to read the first part of the previous quotation about colour being “indeterminate and continually shifting” as corresponding to what would later be called literary Impressionism: after all, Monet’s groundbreaking Impression, soleil levant is dated 1872, i. e. just a year before Stevenson’s protracted stay on the Riviera. Sidney Colvin’s visit to Mentone in December 1873 might also be viewed in that light: Colvin, Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge, was indeed one of the first art critics who had an intimation of Impressionism as early as 1867, during the Paris Exposition Universelle. But the second part of the quotation about tree standing upon tree, “massed into filmy indistinctness”, could be also construed as an intimation of Cubism: the years 1872-1873 are usually considered as a turning-point in Cézanne’s career, when after having fully assimilated the lessons of Impressionism, he began to move away from it. In both his letters and “Ordered South”, it seems that Stevenson, in that respect, is aware of two different modes of rendering the South, i. e. two potential pictorial techniques of writing: one consisting in adding blue upon blue, “for the love of the blue”, in Monet-like, or pre-Matisselike flamboyant, colourful brushstrokes, the other one having more to do with geometry, volumes and structure, a more Cézanne-like or pre-cubist technique this time. Colour set against masses, pigment against volume, a difficult, uneasy compromise: when he mentions “[M]any a white town that sits far out on the promontory” as out of reach ([1874] 1926, 68), Stevenson seems to pre-empt Ford Madox Ford’s famous description of Beaucaire in The Good Soldier, “beautiful Beaucaire, with the high, triangular white tower” (Ford [1915] 1997, 16), where colour is also pitted against geometry. After having evoked “towns with the blinding sun upon them; stone pines against the blue of the sky”, Ford’s narrator says on the next page “that the whole world for me is like spots of colour on an immense canvas” (17), a statement which Stevenson might have endorsed, if his writings on the South were not continually torn between the appeal of colour impressions and the need for a more abstract composition of landscape, as in the following:

Or perhaps he may see a group of washerwomen relieved, on a spit of shingle, against the blue sea, or a meeting of flower-gatherers in the tempered daylight of an olive-garden; and something significant or monumental in the grouping […] will come home to him unexpectedly… (Stevenson [1874] 1924, 65).

18In “Ordered South”, Stevenson explicitly uses pictorial imagery when trying to define “the pleasure that we take in beautiful nature”. Thus a place can be “transfigured” and stand forth “in a certain splendour of reality”. Nature, like a first violet, “can be transmuted into colour so rich and odour so touchingly sweet”: he then mentions Wordsworth’s daffodils ([1874] 1926, 65). When he tries to define what the invalid might acknowledge as “the glad moment”, “such moment of intense perception” which depends “on the harmonious vibration of many nerves”, the pictorial comparison again creeps in: “[t]he whole fashion of the landscape has been changed [for him], as though the sun had just broken forth, or a great artist had only then completed, by some cunning touch, the composition of the picture” ([1874] 1926, 66).

19The title of the essay, “Ordered South”, could thus be read not only in its literal sense, but also as a wish to find a South which would be ‘ordered’, i. e. visually harmonious, aspiring to the condition of painting, formally composed into a picture. Or, as James’s narrator puts it in his story, “Nature refined and transmuted to art” (1962, 155). But this comparison should not be read as a mise-en-abyme of the writer’s inability to ‘paint’ along the lines of the ut pictura poesis tradition, or along more modern lines: if Stevenson is indeed a contemporary of both Monet and Cézanne, and writes rather uneasily at this aesthetic crossroad, if he, himself, was to meet his future wife at Barbizon, his appeal to “a great artist” here is less literal than metaphoric. The wealth of pictorial imagery ushers in a more intellectual conception of landscape:

We admire splendid views and great pictures; and yet what is truly admirable is rather the mind within us, that gathers together these scattered details for its delight, and makes out of certain colours, certain distributions of graduated light and darkness, that intelligible whole which alone we call a picture or a view. (Stevenson [1874] 1924, 67)

“Such Ecstasies of Recognition”: the Predicament of Home

20When staying in Mentone in 1873, Stevenson was also faced with another major problem. The fact that this was his third stay within ten years probably contributed to creating a sense of recollection and recognition, as expressed for instance in a letter to his mother from Monaco, which he had visited with Sidney Colvin: “I recollected having been there nearly eleven years ago, and my father throwing stones over the cliff and make me calculate the height” (Stevenson 1994, 417). Such words as ʻrecollectionʼ, ʻrecognisedʼ, ʻrememberedʼ are indeed overwhelming in the essay, as in the first paragraph: “It may be that we have kept in mind, during all these years, the recollection of some valley into which we have just looked down for a moment before we lost sight of it in the disorder of the hills” ([1874] 1926, 61).

21But this is not a specific valley which could be spotted on the map or in a contemporary Baedeker. Provence is for him not so much a sea shore as a hinterland, the pretext for ‘An Inland Voyage’, what the French poet and critic Yves Bonnefoy would call L’Arrière-pays:

J’ai souvent éprouvé un sentiment d’inquiétude, à des carrefours. Il me semble dans ces moments qu’en ce lieu ou presque: là, à deux pas sur la voie que je n’ai pas prise et dont déjà je m’éloigne, oui, c’est là que s’ouvrait un pays d’essence plus haute, où j’aurais pu aller vivre et que désormais j’ai perdu. (Bonnefoy 1972, 7)

22A similar, almost uncanny sense of homecoming is expressed by Stevenson when describing Orange in a letter to Mrs Sitwell:

Suddenly, as I was going forward slowly in this confusion of mind, I was met by a great volley of odours out of the lemon and orange gardens, and the past linked on to the present and, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the whole scene fell before me into order and I was at home. (Stevenson 1994, 361-62)

23‘Fell before me into order’: the essay is about recognizing the link between past and present, in a kind of pre-Proustian experience – if the past suddenly barges into the present, thus giving order to present perceptions. As Alan Sandison points out, “Proust’s considerable admiration for Stevenson” (2009, 147) is best exemplified by an extract from À la Recherche du temps perdu, in which Swann voices his admiration for Stevenson and describes him as “un grand écrivain […] un très grand, l’égal des plus grands” (Proust 1954.3, 716). The French Riviera is a remembrance of things past: Stevenson’s delight at revisiting Mentone coincides with the recognition that things have not changed, as he admits in a letter to his mother dated 13 November 1873, on his very birthday: “The hills, I am glad to say, are unaltered […] The sea makes the same noise in the shingle; and the lemon and orange gardens still discharge in the still air their fresh perfume” (1994, 363). The polysemic repetition of the word ‘still’ as both adjective and adverb would correspond to his repeated use of clichés as far as colours are concerned: if the sea makes the same noise, if the lemon and orange gardens discharge the same perfume, then the sea is blue, the lemons are yellow, and the oranges are orange, which is quite logical in a city named Orange…

24But this goes well beyond the mere recognition of a well-known, already visited country. The invalid, when reaching the South,

becomes as anxious to seek out beauties and to get by heart the permanent lines and character of the landscape, as if he had been told that it was all his own – an estate out of which he had been kept unjustly, and which he was now to receive in free and full possession. Even those who have never been there before feel as if they had been; and everybody goes comparing, and seeking for the familiar, and finding it with such ecstasies of recognition, that one would think they were coming home after a weary absence, instead of travelling hourly farther abroad. (Stevenson [1874] 1924, 63)

25As in Bonnefoy’s Arrière-pays, the sense of homecoming is not reduced to that of revisiting the same landscape. If the word ‘home’ or the phrase ‘coming home’ are used no less than ten times within nine pages, it is because Stevenson’s “ecstasies of recognition” bear less on the South and Provence as an already visited country, “this beautiful home of my recollections” (1994, 433), than on the recollection of a metaphoric ‘home’ or ‘estate’ which the adult might recognize and acknowledge as his. The fact he should quote from Wordsworth’s daffodils in the essay is not a coincidence here: he also quotes from the poet’s ‘Ode on Intimations of Immortality, from recollections of early childhood’, in a letter to Elizabeth Crosby dated 5 December 1873 (Stevenson 1994, 399). If scenes seen in the South keep on ‘coming home’ to the invalid (“[s]omething in the harmony of faint colour that is always characteristic of the dress of these southern women, will come home to him”), it is because they are part and parcel of a poetic, metaphysical conception of recollection, not so much in Proust’s sense this time, as in Wordsworth’s, which might link not only the present with the past, but Man with the Child – if the second, as Wordsworth puts it in his poem, is the Father of the first. Hence the haunting sense of repetition, which has to do with recognition. “The sunshine is a glorious birth” (‘Ode on Intimations’, II, 7), the sea is metaphoric, as in Wordsworth’s famous lines:

Hence, in a season of calm weather,
Though inland far we be,
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither,
Can in a moment travel thither,
And see the children sport upon the shore,
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore (‘Ode on Intimations’, IX, 33-39)

26While the invalid views his own body as perpetually mortal, his soul is apt to recognize a metaphoric ‘estate’ which he could call his by right, in which he would feel ‘at home, more ‘at home’ than the real ‘home’ which at times intrudes upon, and mars his enjoyment of the South:

[i]f but the thermometer fall a little below its ordinary Mediterranean level, or a wind come down from the snow-clad Alps behind, the spirit of his fancies changes upon the instant, and many a doleful vignette of the grim winter streets at home returns to him, and begins to haunt his memory. (Stevenson [1874] 1924, 64)

27This is another double bind of sorts: while he was ordered South in order to flee from the problems at home, the invalid periodically suffers from bouts of homesickness which might jeopardize his newly regained health, and crowd upon his memory. How can the invalid be “homesick for the hale rough weather” (Stevenson [1874] 1924, 64) if this implies his own destruction? Instead, memory should be bent on “the home-land of the beautiful” (65). Coming home should have nothing to do with nostalgia, which, by definition, is always painful, but with the recognition of “that immortal sea” which might enable the soul to defeat the body, and enable us to bask in glory: “But trailing clouds of glory do we come/From God, who is our home (‘Ode on Intimations’, V, 7-8).

28Despite this Wordsworth-like kind of recognition to which he aspires, Stevenson is very much aware, in “Ordered South” as well as in his letters, of the elusive character of ‘home’. In a letter to Mrs Sitwell dated 16 December 1873, he writes: “I have no notion of your being alone at home. There’s no place like H – you know – which you may understand as you will” (1994, 411). “There’s no place like home” could also be read as ʻhome is nowhere to be foundʼ. In the essay, the intimation of immortality is pitted against, and debunked by, a permanent reflection on mortality. Stevenson’s predicament of finding a potential ‘home’ on the Riviera is expressed, in the last pages, by an admission that “the life of the invalid resembles a premature old age”. Thus, “to him the idea of mortality comes in a shape less violent and harsh than is its wont” ([1874] 1926, 68). It might sound paradoxical that this essay devoted to the South should end on a meditation about accepted death: “He will pray for Medea; when she comes, let her rejuvenate or slay” (69). Death is viewed as the ultimate and welcome means of solving a series of contradictions: between the “enthusiast” and the “stolid, indifferent tourist” who is “out of sympathy with the scene” (63), between the one who yearns for ‘home’ in the Wordsworthian sense, and the one who is homesick, between the immortal child and the old man-to-be, the traveller and the stay-at-home, between the ‘polar twins’ of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) embodied by the two Duries, as evidenced by the epitaph of the two brothers at the end of The Master of Ballantrae (1889). In between the Wordsworthian conception of home as an immortal estate, and the grim reminiscences of the home he has fled, Stevenson tends to view home as the metaphor of the accepted grave. In a sense, the essay enables him to reach out for home as metaphor.

29Thus, some ten years after his stay in Mentone, while he was staying in Hyères and thought he was about to die, he wrote the lines of his ‘Requiem’ (1885), which later were to be written on his grave in Samoa:

Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

Bibliographie

Abrahamson, Robert-Louis. 2009. “‘Of Some Use to Me Afterwards’: Stevenson’s Pivotal Experience in Mentone.” In Ambrosini and Dury 2009: 37-51.

Ambrosini, Richard, and Richard Dury, eds. 2009. European Stevenson. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Barthes, Roland. 1957. Mythologies. Paris: Seuil.

—. [1980] 1984. “On échoue toujours à parler de ce qu’on aime.” In Le bruissement de la langue. Essais critiques IV, 333-342. Paris: Seuil.

Bonnefoy, Yves. 1972. L’Arrière-pays. Paris: Flammarion.

Daiches, David. 1973. Robert Louis Stevenson and his World. London: Thames & Hudson.

Ford, Ford Madox. [1915] 1995. The Good Soldier. New York and London: Norton.

James, Henry. [1871] 1962. “At Isella.” In The Madonna of the Future and Other Early Stories. New York: Signet Classics.

Maupassant, Guy de. [1884] 1984. “Les Sœurs Rondoli.” In Contes et nouvelles. Paris: Laffont.

Proust, Marcel. [1913-1927] 1954. À la recherche du temps perdu, Paris: Gallimard.

Sandison, Alan. 2009. “Proust and Stevenson: Natives of an Unknown Country.” In Ambrosini and Dury 2009: 147-70.

Stevenson, Robert Louis. [1874] 1924. “Ordered South.” In Virginibus Puerisque, 61-72. London: Heinemann, Tusitala edition, vol. XXV.

—. 1994. Letters. Vol. I [1854-April 1874]. Ed. Bradford. A. Booth and Ernest Mehew. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Auteur

He is Professor of English Literature at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3. He is the author of Robert Louis Stevenson, l’aventure et son double (1987) and Lectures aventureuses (1990). He co-organized an international conference at Cerisy-la-Salle, Stevenson-Doyle: aventures de la fiction in 2000, and has translated stories and novels by R.L. Stevenson, Doyle and Conrad. He is also a novelist (Le Crime étrange de Mr Hyde, Les Hommes de cire, Les Variations Enigma, Retour à Walker Alpha).

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