Scholarly, engaging and deeply thoughtful, Joseph Farrell's account of Stevenson's last four years in Samoa has the feel of an instant classic in studies of the writer. The Navigator Islands had fascinated Stevenson for years, but when he went to live there in 1890, frail and famous, the realities of life in on the margins of his own culture, language and society changed him forever. Rarely can a place and a writer have had so much effect on each other: Joseph Farrell's brilliant study takes us further into this fascinating relationship than ever before.
Marvellously done, thanks to the lively fair-mindedness of Farrell's excellent prose. Vivid, scholarly, informative, but above all a really good read.
Joseph Farrell's is the best book I have seen on Stevenson's years in Samoa, the most enviable of any writer's ever. Farrell is fair to both his sunburnt Bohemianism and his unremitting hard work.
Stevenson in Samoa is very good indeed . . . It is full of interest and repays the attention it demands.
A sparkling account of the last years of Stevenson's life . . . An emeritus professor at the University of Strathclyde and translator of literary works from Italian, Farrell comes armed with perceptive, elegant prose and a revealing understanding of Stevenson's peculiarly Scottish frame of mind.
A very profound examination of Stevenson's Samoa in light of current and present ideologies.
A bracing amalgam of history, biography and travel . . . Farrell has done his compatriot proud.
Farrell provides a welcome service by offering us the fascinating story of Stevenson's last great roll with the dice.
By adeptly detailing colonial politics in which Stevenson intervened, Farrell takes us well beyond the image of the romantic exile in Robert Louis Stevenson in Samoa.
A warm and intelligent account of the novelist's life and work in his last years in the South Seas.