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A Friendship in Letters

J.M. Barrie and Robert Louis Stevenson

Michael Shaw

A Friendship in Letters by Michael Shaw

In A Friendship in Letters, Dr. Michael Shaw brings together correspondence between two of Scotland’s most famous writers for the first time.

Though they never met, Robert Louis Stevenson and J. M. Barrie developed a warm friendship, revealed in these amusing and gossipy letters, with vivid commentary on each other’s literary work. Until recently, Barrie’s side of the correspondence was presumed lost by his biographers. This epistolary volume reunites Barrie’s letters with Stevenson’s and contextualises them through an engaging introduction and a series of appendices, including a delightful short story by Barrie.

RRP: £11.99
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781913207021
Publication Date: 13/11/2020
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Michael Shaw
Michael Shaw is Lecturer in Scottish Literature at the University of Stirling. In 2015, he won the Ross Roy Medal for excellence in research in Scottish Literature. His first book...


‘This delightful book opens a fascinating window onto a brief but intense friendship.’

James Robertson

‘A literary scoop.’

The Spectator

‘The letters are delightful... with an excellent introduction by the editor Michael Shaw.’

Allan Massie, The Scotsman

‘The letters are presented faithfully... The friendship that emerges is open, honest and heart-warming.’

Book of the Month, Scots Magazine

‘A treasure trove of playful and poignant missives.’

Gayle Ritchie, The Press & Journal

‘Stevenson’s widow, Fanny Van de Grift, said that his letters to Barrie were among the gayest he ever wrote. This slim volume bears out that vivacity.’

Rosemary Goring, The Herald

‘Barrie and Stevenson left behind them an immortal body of work and unforgettable works of literature. And it’s as if they have returned to life through the labours of Dr Shaw.’

Neil Drysdale, The Press & Journal

‘Stevenson fantasised about the ‘cracks’(that is, conversation) the two men might have had if Barrie had ever made the journey to Samoa. This sensitively edited work is a valuable record of the cracks they actually had.’

Joseph Farrell, Literary Review

‘Interesting and accessible.’

Louise Welsh

‘A delightful book.’

Scottish Review

‘Highly personal, completely revealing and, in parts, hilarious; this new collection of letters is both entertaining and illuminating.’

Dr Valentina Bold

‘This beautifully-produced volume sets out how a literary friendship can be formed in letters. By turns playful, analytic and poignant.’

Professor Penny Fielding

‘A sparkling epistolary relationship: a meeting of creative minds that is at once playful and serious, affectionate and daring.’

Dr Andrew Nash

On The Blog

Seasons Readings: A Friendship in Letters

On day three of our bookish advent blog series, we're back in Scotland. Read on for an extract from Michael Shaw's introduction to A Friendship in Letters. From December 1st...