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  • An encounter with a multi-faceted writer and an adventure loving traveller.

    Robert Louis Stevenson rebelled against his upper class origins and high society, driven by a real interest in his fellow men, regardless of race or social status.

    E X H I B I T I O N C A T A L O G U E

    Travels with

    Robert LouisStevenson

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    Illustration: J. Debiessefrom a photo belonging tothe National Library of Scotland

    Exhibition catalogue publishedand producedin 2008, and translatedin April 2012by:

  • Editorial

    Follow the travels of Robert Louis Stevenson through series of images, quotes, drawings, photographs and texts recounting his rich and colourful life.

    Be warned though! This encounter may well surprise you in many ways. It is the sort of meeting that is infinitely enriching a revelation that strikes a chord somewhere with everyone.

    Stevenson the Scot, the Frenchman, the American, the Samoan citizen of the word.

    Stevenson the writer, the traveller, the patient, the lover of Fanny, a multi-faceted personality nurturing a remarkable lifes work.

    This great writer travelled through our remote lands in autumn 1878 accompanied by his donkey, Modestine. The present exhibition celebrates the 130th anniversary of his adventure.

    The presentations that you will discover are one of the anniversary gifts and represent the fruit of exchange, sharing and contacts made through and around the writer.

    Travels with Robert Louis Stevenson is a tribute to this pioneer who has incited us to take a fresh look at our own natural and cultural heritage. This testimonial represents an account of the heritage offered by Robert Louis Stevenson, for all to appreciate and enjoy.

    His life was short, his existance intense.

    Bon voyage!

    The President, Anne Nourry Chrtien, and the Associations board members.

    December 2008

    Conference given by Michel Le Bris during a presentation of the exhibition in Florac on 30th September 2008.

  • We would like to thank the following for their contributions:

    Michel Le Bris (writer, specialist on Stevenson)

    Daniel Travier (curator of the museum at St-Jean-du-Gard)

    Andr Crmillieux (Monastier-sur-Gazeille Museum)

    Christel Grardin (Port-Cros National Park)

    Ingrid Hoksbergen (Cvennes National Park)

    Jim Jeffrey (Scottish Natural Heritage)

    Sheila Mackensie (National Library of Scotland)

    Rosemary Johnston (R. L. Stevenson Club Edinburgh)

    Ian Nimmo (R. L. Stevenson Club Edinburgh)

    Ian Gardiner (R. L. Stevenson Club Edinburgh)

    Linda Dryden (Edinburgh Napier University)

    Richard Scherrer (Cvennes National Park)

    Odile Guigon (English teacher, Association Sur le chemin de Stevenson)

    Le muse des Valles Cvenoles (Saint-Jean-du-Gard)

    The National Library of Scotland (Edinburgh)

    The Scottish Natural Heritage (Edinburgh)

    Lassociation Artistes du bout du Monde (Grez-sur-Loing)

    Port-Cros National Park

    Le Club Cvenol

    LOise aux livres Multimedia Library (traupont)

    Regional Park of Avesnois

    The Writers Museum (Edinburgh)

    And all the financial contributors to the exhibition.

    Exhibition design: Patricia Grime (lArbre Pain)

    Layout: Jacques Debiesse

    Printing (catalogue and poster): Imprimerie Rimbaud

    Translation: Nigel Connor

    English typesetting: J-Philippe Guillerme

    The present exhibition is presented by the Association Sur le Chemin de Robert Louis Stevenson to celebrate the 130th anniversary of Stevensons journey through the Cvennes.

    The path followed by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1878 represents a link between the Haute-Loire, Ardche, Lozre and Gard departments, between the Auvergne and the Languedoc-Roussillon regions. It has today become one of the most popular hiking trails in France (GR 70: 252km from Le Puy-en-Velay to Als).

    The association was established in 1994 in order to develop a network of tourism profes-sionals along the hiking trail, to promote the itinerary, to accompany walkers in preparing their adventure and to provide information about points of interest and heritage sites along the trail and in the different territories it crosses.

  • MilestonesUnited Kingdom

    Victoria was crowned Queen of the United Kingdom in 1837. The Industrial Revolution took place during her reign.

    Literature

    Birth of Pierre Loti and Guy de Maupassant, 1850.

    Publication of Moby Dick by Melville and death of Cooper (The Last of the Mohicans), 1851.

    Works by StevensonThe History of Moses (1856)

    Dictated by Robert Lewis to his mother at the age of 6.

    Novel

    The Plague Cellar (1864)

    Essay

    The Pentland Uprising (1866)This essay about the uprising of Scottish farmers in the 17th century was published by his father.

    Margaret Balfour, born into a family of jurists and pastors, had very fragile health which her son inherited: he suffered throughout his life from pulmonary emphysema.

    From 1862, cures and travelling took Robert Lewis to Germany, southern England, the French Riviera and Italy.

    Thomas Stevenson, an eccentric engineer, built lighthouses as did his own

    father and grandfather before him. From 1864

    he took his son with him on his business trips along

    the Scottish coastlines with a view to training his

    future successor.

    To Alison CunninghamFrom Her BoyFor the long nights you lay awakeAnd watched for my unworthy sake:For your most comfortable handat led me through the uneven land:For all the story-books you read:For all the pains you comforted:For all you pitied, all you bore,In sad and happy days of yore: My second Mother, my first Wife,e angel of my infant life From the sick child, now well and old,Take, nurse, the little book you hold!R.L.S. - Dedication A Childs Garden of Verses

    Alison Cunningham, Stevensons nurse whom he called Cummy, filled him with stories and legends, with terrifying religious tales and numerous adventure books.

    He dedicated a collection of poems to her. A Childs Garden of Verses.

    A Scottish child hears much of shipwreck, outlying iron skerries, pitiless breakers, and great sea-lights; much of heathery mountains, wild clans, and hunted Covenanters.R.L.S. - e Foreigner At Home

    I have three powerful impressions of my childhood: my sufferings when I was sick, my delights in convalescence at my grandfathers manse of Colinton, near Edinburgh, and the unnatural activity of my mind after I was in bed at night.R.L.S. - Memoirs of Himself

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    Robert Lewis and his mother Margaret Balfour in 1854

    Robert Lewis Stevenson at the age of 15

    Two servants, Thomas and Margaret Stevenson, Robert Lewis and Alison Cunningham in Peebles near Edinburgh in 1865.

    Drawing by Stevenson illustrating his tale: The History of Moses

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    Robert Lewis Stevenson and his father Thomas Stevenson in 1865

    Edinburgh Writers Museum

    Edinburgh Collection at St-Jean-du-Gard Museum

    Trustees of the National Library of Scotland Edinburgh

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  • Work on the Bell Rock lighthouse, built by Stevensons grandfather Wikimedia Commons

    MilestonesUnited Kingdom

    Economic boom in the Victorian era 1850-1870.

    The English week (stopping work on Saturday at midday) spread throughout the United Kingdom.

    Wages increased by 25 to 30% between 1850 and 1875.

    The majority of the population now lived in towns and cities.

    The number of domestic servants, the keystone to the notion of bourgeoisie, rose from 840 000 to 1.3 million between 1851 and 1871.

    Literature

    Publication of Ninety-Three, Victor Hugo, 1870.

    Publication of Around the World in 80 Days, Jules Verne, 1870.

    Death of Alexandre Dumas senior, 1870.

    Works by StevensonThe Philosophy of Umbrellas (1871)

    Roads (1873-1874)

    Victor Hugos Romances (1873-1874)

    On the enjoyment of unpleasant places (1873-1874)

    Edinburgh: picturesque notes (1878)

    The Education of an Engineer (1888)

    The ages of 17 and 21, in order to further his scientific studies, Stevenson was sent by his father on inspection tours along the Scottish coastlines and islands.

    The eccentric student with long hair shone by his absence.

    In 1871, he decided that he would not become an engineer because he wanted to devote his life to literature. In order to make this easier on his father, he signed up to study law.

    In 1870, along with some fellow students, Stevenson created a university review and began to frequent local bars.

    The growing family conflict reached a flash point in 73 when his father discovered the LJR*, a club founded with his cousin Bob with a tenet of disregard everything our parents taught us, through which Stevenson communic

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