'This is to certify that Uma Daughter of Fa'avao of Falesá island of ---, is illegally married to Mr John Wiltshire for one night, and Mr John Wiltshire is at liberty to send her to hell next morning.'
The literary world was shocked when in 1890, at the height of his career, Robert Louis Stevenson announced his intention to settle permanently in Samoa. His readers were equally shocked when he began to use the subject material offered by his new environment, not to promote a romance of empire, but to produce some of the most ironic and critical treatments of imperialism in nineteenth-century fiction.
In stories such as The Beach of Falesá, The Bottle Imp, and The Isle of Voices Stevenson shows himself to be virtuoso of narrative styles. This is the first collection to bring together all his shorter Pacific fiction in one volume and in it Stevenson emerges as a witness to the cross-cultural encounters of nineteenth-century imperialism and to the creation of the global culture which characterizes the post-colonial world.
Goodreads rating: 3.62/5