For Christine, Tom and Jonathan, who had to live with my obsession and accept Louis as an extra member of the family. Also for Lesley Lendrum, biographer of Neil Munro, who generously provided me with some of the missing jigsaw pieces – and showed me that completing a book really is possible.
THIS book took ten years to write, but will take visitors to the Robert Louis Stevenson Website just one year to read in fortnightly instalments.
Serialisation was the way in which Stevenson’s novels were first enjoyed by the public as they unfolded through the pages of various periodicals – most famously Treasure Island, first enjoyed piecemeal by the readers of Young Folks magazine.
Later the story appeared between hard covers after WE Henley, Louis’s big and burly friend who was the original for Long John Silver, stumped into the editor’s office at Cassells and flung down a pile of magazine proofs on the desk, crying: ‘There’s a book for ye!’ If only getting published were that easy today.
In a digital age my book is appearing somewhat differently but can be read in much the same way. The online version is free to read, but I would ask you to respect my copyright. And if any traditional publisher happens to be interested in putting this between hard covers in due course, all I can say is: ‘Here’s a book for ye!’
For more information about Lamplit, Vicious Fairy Land and its slightly unusual format, click here. Then click on the chapter links on this page to become one of the book’s first readers. I do hope you enjoy it.