Sailing by Starlight
Alex Capus, John Brownjohn
Alex Capus follows every step of Robert Louis Stevenson’s last years, studying every clue left behind by the Scottish writer and reaching his own conclusion about the most dramatic turn in Stevenson’s life: his decision to settle in Samoa, where the climate was poison for his already diseased lungs. When he arrived there in 1889, neither Stevenson nor his family particularly liked the Pacific island and wanted to stay for only a few days. Yet soon afterwards he changed his mind and, intriguingly, spent what little remained of his savings on a plot of land and began living there on a meagre income. Before long Stevenson set about building an opulent villa and lived out the rest of his days in splendour. What had happened? Capus asserts that Stevenson not only wrote the world-famous novel “Treasure Island” here but searched for the treasure himself and furthermore found it towards the end of his life, on a little island he could see from the peak of the mountain in Samoa where he settled.
'Confiding, easy-going, intimate, the writer spins a new - a mind-bendingly new - account from this well-worn cloth. Fluent, charming, but mischievous, the story slips past like a tantalising vision but leaves a strange flavour behind.' '[A] fascinating investigation...' -- Giles Foden
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