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The Rise And Fall Of Robert Louis Stevenson

1180 words - 5 pages

Robert Louis Stevenson, like most authors, was both criticized and praised for his work. There were many people to review his work, before and after his death. No matter what people say, he is one of the most popular authors ever. A lot of the reviews I have read contain very interesting points. There are both things I agree and disagree with in the critical writings. The two novels I read while studying Stevenson's work were "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and "Treasure Island". Stevenson's praise and criticism were mostly received at different times. During his lifetime, Stevenson was one of the most popular authors ever. He was treated as a god in the literary field. There seems to have been no ...view middle of the document...

"(3) Stevenson was also known to be a figure of moral inspiration. Ferrucula Busini, a popular pianist and composer from his time, wrote, "I have had one great pleasure. I have read Stevenson."(4) He went on to say, "He is great: a storyteller, a thinker, a realist, a visionary, poet, philosopher, simple, and complicated."(4) Many people finally decided to classify Stevenson's work as adventurous novels. He was always an interesting person to read and study because of the nature of his life and death. It was a long time after his death until anything bad was written about Stevenson. Then, all of a sudden, it seemed that critics ganged up on Stevenson's work as if it were worthless.About 30 years after his death, critics began to attack both Stevenson and his work. It almost seemed that these people were tired of everyone taking the same opinion on Stevenson. Everyone had always praised his novels and the ideas they presented. The new critics wanted their own opinions. Frank Swinnerton, E. M. Forster, and John A. Stuart all wrote articles or books dedicated to negatively criticizing Stevenson. Forster said Stevenson "is not first class, but is guilty of mannerisms, self-consciousness, sentimentality, and quaintness."(5) John A Stuart thought Stevenson had no first-rate books, just excellent books for boys.(6) One critic's opinion was that Stevenson's novels "only gave momentary pleasure to the weak."(7)People began to realize how much of a drop-off Stevenson's reputation had taken. Leonard Woolf wrote "The Fall of Stevenson" in 1924 and tried to summarize the fall. He said, "There has never been a more headlong fall in a writer's reputation than there was in Stevenson, he had nothing original to say, he was just the man to captivate the taste of the romantic nineties, sounds now drearily thin and artificial."(8)There were people to defend all of the attacks on Stevenson's work. Reading the reviews, it seems that some literary figures thought the Stevenson novels did not have completely correct structure. They sound like...

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