restricted access Acknowledgments
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107 ...... Ackn owledgments At the University of Iowa Press, Elisabeth Chretien and Catherine Cocks guided this book with never failing cheerfulness and professionalism . The Muse Books series is under the general editorship of distinguished biographer Robert Richardson. I feel privileged to be a part of the series, and I’m grateful to Professor Richardson for his support for this project. Some material was published as “Stevenson’s Mortal Questions ” in Victorians Institute Journal 42 (2014). Thanks to the editors for permission to reprint. Thanks are also due to the Edna T. Shaeffer Humanist Award committee in the College of Arts and Letters at James Madison University and to dean David K. Jeffrey. On a gray afternoon in November 2015, I idly Googled the words “Booth and Mehew.” The very first hit was a British vendor on eBay who had a set of the Collected Letters at auction for£65.00—a steal. To own all eight volumes of Stevenson’s radiant letters while writing this book was like a gift from the universe. Thank you, eBay seller, whoever you are. John Macfie, the current resident of 17 Heriot Row, answered my inquiries about his street lamp and supplied facts about the history of Edinburgh’s street lamps that I was able to use in chapter 1. I am grateful for his generous correspondence. Immeasurable love and gratitude to Chuck Dotas. Your life-­ lovingness buoys me up. Your love lights my way. “Mine eyes were swift to know thee, and my heart / As swift to love.” Stevenson’s letters reveal again and again how much he valued the friends in his life. “But we are all travellers in what John Bunyan calls the wilderness of this world,” he wrote, “and the best that we can find in our travels is an honest friend.” I am grateful to Laurie Lakebrink, honest friend for more than three decades, headstrong believer in the romance of life. ...


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