Prince Otto

A Romance

STEVENSON, Robert Louis


STEVENSON, Robert Louis Prince Otto A Romance

Chatto & Windus, 1885.

First edition. Original blue-green cloth with red floral motif and gilt titles to spine. Author's presentation copy to his mother, inscribed, "The author to his mother, Skerryvore, Bournemouth." A very good copy indeed, minor wear to the extremities and fragile hinges. Housed in a custom made quarter morocco box.

An important association copy. The only child of Thomas and Margaret Stevenson, Robert Louis was very sickly as a child and was doted upon by his mother. As he grew up he had a strained relationship with his authoritarian and distant father, and they had several fallings out. All this contributed to the unusually close relationship between Stevenson and his mother, who was deeply proud of her son's achievements. Stevenson's presentation copies to her are a testament to the most personal and fundamental of influences.
Prince Otto was largely written between April and December 1883 and Stevenson's writing process for the book was unusual in the extreme. He said that it, "was written at Hyères; it took me about five months" and he called Prince Otto, "my hardest effort". This seems to have been a fair judgement since one of the chapters was written eight times by Stevenson and once by his wife. Nonetheless, on its publication in 1885, it received some very positive reviews. Andrew Lang in the Pall Mall Gazette wrote somewhat floridly that: "it is a book to be drunk in one long breath, like a draught of sunny Moselle from a tapering, iridescent Venetian goblet"! The tale of a faraway land in all its glorious obscurity was well received largely due to the care with which Stevenson constructed it.

Stock ID: 17113


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