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Record 18679

Reading Experience:

'And now I have taken up an old story, begun years ago; and I have now rewritten all I had written of it then and mean to finish it. What I have lost and gained is odd. As far as regards simple writing, of course I am in another world now; but in some things, though more clumsy, I seem to have been freer and more plucky: this is a lesson I have taken to heart. I have got a jolly new name for my old story. I am going to call it ?A Country Dance?: the two heroes keep changing places, you know; and the chapter, where the most of this changing goes on, is to be called: ?Up the Middle, down the Middle?. It will be in six, or (perhaps) seven, chapters. I have never worked harder in my life, than these last four days. If I can only keep it up.'
Century: 1850-1899
Date: Until: 11 Feb 1875
Country: Scotland
Time: n/a
Place: city: Edinburgh
county: Lothian
specific address: [17 Heriot Row]
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 Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 13 Nov 1850
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: Aspiring writer and intermittent law student
Religion: Uncommitted.
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: Robert Louis Stevenson
Title: A Country Dance
Genre: Fiction
Form of Text: Manuscript: Earlier draft of one of his stories.
Publication details: See below under Additional Comments.
Provenance: owned


Source Information:

Record ID: 18679  
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: 117
  Additional comments: Section headed Thursday [11 February] in Letter 364, To Frances Sitwell [9 February 1875] [17 Heriot Row]. Co-editor Ernest Mehew. The dates in square brackets have 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. 117,, accessed: 04 December 2023

Additional comments:

Editors? Note 2, p. 117, reads: ?One of the ?ill-fated efforts?, subsequently destroyed, listed in RLS?s ?My First Book: Treasure Island? (1894).?



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