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A Friendship in Letters: Robert Louis Stevenson & J.M. Barrie Reviews

A Friendship in Letters: Robert Louis Stevenson & J.M. Barrie  by Michael Shaw

A Friendship in Letters: Robert Louis Stevenson & J.M. Barrie

Michael Shaw

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: Sandstone Press Ltd
Publisher: Sandstone Press Ltd
Publication date: 13 Nov 2020
ISBN: 9781913207021

Until a couple of years ago, J. M. Barrie's manuscript letters to Robert Louis Stevenson were presumed lost by Barrie's biographers. This fascinating and witty exchange shows why they developed such an intense bond (despite never meeting) and the deep impact their correspondence had on Barrie's life and work after Stevenson died.

4 stars out of 5
Emily Bearn
7 Nov 2020

"The two Scottish writers never met, but their letters reveal a surprisingly deep bromance"

On the one hand their intimacy seems surprising, given that the two authors never met. They both attended Edinburgh University in the 1870s, but by the time they started corresponding Stevenson had settled in Samoa while Barrie was living between Angus and London. As Shaw points out, however, it is this distance that lends the correspondence its charm. In one letter, pressing for information on Barrie’s next book, Stevenson writes: ‘No harm in telling me; I am too far off to be indiscreet […] I am rushes by the riverside, and the stream is in Babylon; breathe your secrets to me fearlessly.’ Barrie accepts this logic. To Stevenson, he writes, he can reveal ‘the real JMB who has been so far carefully concealed from his “intimate friends”’.

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