STEVENSON, Robert Louis (1850-1894). The Silverado Squatters. London: Chatto and Windus, 1883.

$ 1,800.00

8vo., (7 ¾ x 5 ½ inches). Half-title, list of books by the same author. Sepia-toned frontispiece (occasional spotting and browning throughout). Original sage-green cloth decorated and lettered in sepia and gold (extremities bumped, spine lightly faded).

Provenance: With the bookplate of Michael Sadleir to the front pastedown.

First edition, first issue, with the word "His" omitted on next to last line of page 140, but without the publisher’s catalogue. Stevenson rashly immigrated to America to be reunited with his lover Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne in August of 1879. "For the sake of economy and to collect material for a book he sailed from Glasgow to New York by the emigrant ship "Devonia," describing his experiences in "The Amateur Emigrant," part 1 (abridged, 1895; unabridged, 1966). He made a nightmare journey by emigrant train across America to San Francisco and then down the coast to Monterey, where Fanny was living with her children; it is described in part 2 (published in "Across the Plains," 1892). The hardships of the journey and the poverty that he endured wrecked Stevenson's health, and he was ill for much of the time. He broke down completely in March 1880 and came very near death, having the first of the haemorrhages from the lung that plagued the rest of his life. Fanny, who had obtained a divorce from Osbourne in December, took him into her home and nursed him devotedly. Stevenson and Fanny were married in San Francisco on 19 May 1880. They spent their honeymoon in an abandoned mining camp on the slopes of Mount St Helena, overlooking the Napa valley, experiences later described [as here] in "The Silverado Squatters" (1884)" (Ernest Mehew for DNB). Cowan, p. 615; Howes S980.

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