Reading Experience Database

Basic Search

Advanced Search

Record 20258

Reading Experience:

'I am all right. I am reading law, and writing beautiful poems in prose. […]Do write, son of perdition, do write. I cannot, owing to poetical (prose poetical) afflatus, Civil Law, and a kind of nondescript incapacity that weighs upon me.'
Century: 1850-1899
Date: Between 1 May 1875 and 31 May 1875
Country: Scotland
Time: morning
Place: city: Edinburgh
county: Lothian
specific address: Swanston Cottage, Lothianburn, Edinburgh and 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: unknown
Title: law books
Genre: Law
Form of Text: Print: Book, Textbooks on Scottish Law, including Civil Law.
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 20258  
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: 139
  Additional comments: Letter 392, To Sidney Colvin [Late May 1875], Swanston Cottage. 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. 139,, accessed: 27 February 2024

Additional comments:

RLS is reading in preparation for the imminent Edinburgh University Final Examinations at which he will (just) qualify as Advocate, on the strength of which fact he will be called to the Scottish Bar, though he will not practise.



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