Driven to the South Seas by ill health, Stevenson could not close his eyes to the impact of colonialism, the 'stirabout of epochs and races, barbarisms and civilisations, virtues and crimes'. Setting his imaginative writings within the social and political contexts of his letters and essays from the South Seas, reveals the deepening and broadening of Stevenson's genius and his growing awareness of and anger at white exploitation. It was a society in which his love of adventure, his awareness of the extremes of human nature, and his fascination with good and evil, could find full release. Tales of the South Seas gathers together all of Stevenson's South Sea fiction and a selection of prose and letters provides not only a vivid portrait of a colourful and exotic world, but also a full and rounded picture of a superb writer at the height of his powers.

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