Myself and the Other Fellow (Paperback)

A Life of Robert Lewis Stevenson

By Claire Harman

Harper Perennial, 9780060935252, 503pp.

Publication Date: October 31, 2006



He thrilled readers the world over with breathtaking tales of pirates (Treasure Island) and monsters (The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde). But the short life of writer Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94) was as adventurous as almost anything in his fiction. He was both engineer and aesthete, Covenanter and atheist, dutiful son and reckless lover. His travels, illnesses, creative struggles, volatile relationships, and titanic quarrels were the stuff of legend.

Until now, no biography has done justice to the complex, brilliant, and troubled man who was responsible for so many remarkable literary creations, the least "Victorian" of Victorian writers. Claire Harman's Myself & the Other Fellow is a fascinating portrait of a man of humor, resilience, and strongly unconventional views, the most authoritative, comprehensive, and perceptive biography of Robert Louis Stevenson to date.

Praise For Myself and the Other Fellow: A Life of Robert Lewis Stevenson

“[A] shrewd and sparkling biography.”
-New York Times Book Review

“Claire Harman’s judicious, witty and insightful life is as gratifying as it is poignant.”
-Washington Post Book World

“Knowledgeable, vastly detailed biography... Harman lucidly analyzes Stevenson’s immense variety of writings and his even greater variety of unfinished projects.”
-Boston Sunday Globe

“Everything a literary biography ought to be.”
-Charlotte Observer

“Well researched . . . [Harman’s] readings of RLS’s literary prose are critically strong.”

“Splendid...Ms. Harman’s clear-eyed, wry approach to Stevenson and his colorful coterie will grab you and not let go.”
-Washington Times

“A delight from start to finish. [Harman] is steeped in Stevenson and can match his swift, vivid style.”
-John Carey, Sunday Times (London)

“[A] complex portrait...Harman’s kaleidoscopic light suits a man whose personality seemed in a state of constant flux.”
-The Economist

“Harman’s narrative is full, rich, intelligent, and smooth...and is a continuous pleasure to read . . . Uncommonly good.”
-Literary Review

“An engaging look at the life and writings of a complex and contradictory fellow... rendered with honesty, integrity and humor.”
-Kirkus Reviews, starred

“A deeply nuanced portrait of an amazingly complex figure . . . Meticulously researched and well written.”
-Booklist (starred review)