Troubled inheritances in R. L. Stevenson's Kidnapped and Conan Doyle's "The adventure of the Priory school"
In "Mr. Stevenson's Methods of Fiction" (The National Review, January 1890), Conan Doyle commended his contemporary's The Master of Ballantrae (1889), while surveying his short stories and novels to date. Conan Doyle traces the shadow of George Meredith on Stevenson's writing, demonstrating how effectively Stevenson employs a number of stylistic devices, including adjectives, similes, and repetitions; examines the concision and concentration of his prose style; and shows how he progenated, in characters including Hyde, Pew, Black Dog, and Long John Silver, the mutilated villain. In this chapter, I begin by analysing Conan Doyle's claims about the form and content of Stevenson's fiction. Conan Doyle recognises the modern masculine novel, which Stevenson's exemplify, as a "reaction against the abuse of love in fiction" (652). Taking Conan Doyle's observation as a point of departure, I argue that the writers' concerns regarding inheritance are closely married to the form of their works. I juxtapose Stevenson's Kidnapped (1886) and Conan Doyle's "The Adventure of the Priory School" (1904), two stories whence inheritance plots are frustrated by abduction ones, to explore their understandings of legacies.
Ue, T. (2019)., Troubled inheritances in R. L. Stevenson's Kidnapped and Conan Doyle's "The adventure of the Priory school", in M. Szuba & J. Wolfreys (eds.), The poetics of space and place in Scottish literature, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 31-46.
This document is unfortunately not available for download at the moment.