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Record 17649

Reading Experience:

'I can say this much that your paper has impressed me very much, and I shall never get the village out of my head; I know the place; it is called (to imitate Bunyan) the village of Hope-deferred, and near it goes the river of the Shadow of Suicide.'
Century: 1850-1899
Date: Until: 31 Oct 1874
Country: Scotland
Time: n/a
Place: city: Probably Edinburgh.
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reader:Robert Louis Stevenson
Age Unknown
Gender Male
Date of Birth 13 Nov 1850
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: Aspiring writer and intermittent law student
Religion: Church of Scotland (wavering)
Country of origin: Scotland
Country of experience: Scotland
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: John Bunyan
Title: The Pilgrim?s Progress from this world to that which is to come, delivered under the similitude of a dream
Genre: Other religious, Fiction
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: Part I, 1678 (Part II, 1684)
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 17649  
Source - Print  
  Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
  Editor: Bradford A. Booth
  Title: The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, April 1874-July 1879
  Place of Publication: New Haven and London
  Date of Publication: 1994
  Vol: 2
  Page: 62-3
  Additional comments: Letter 323, To Katharine de Mattos, [? October 1874]. Co-editor Ernest Mehew. The date in square brackets has been added by the editors.

Citation: Robert Louis Stevenson, Bradford A. Booth (ed.), The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, April 1874-July 1879 (New Haven and London, 1994), 2, p. 62-3,, accessed: 08 July 2020

Additional comments:

RLS?s remarks here seem to be an amalgam of religious allusions. In Pt I, section 1, of The Pilgrim?s Progress we read: ?in yonder Village (the village is named Morality) there dwells a Gentleman whose name is Legality.? The King James Bible, Proverbs 13, v.12 has: ?Hope deferred maketh the heart sick?. Hopeful is the name of one of Christian?s companions on his pilgrimage. Christian has to pass through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and later, when Christian and Hopeful are imprisoned in Doubting Castle, Despair beats them and encourages them to commit suicide so as to escape their suffering. See also the King James Bible, Psalms, 23, v. 4: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.



Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)