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by Robert Louis Stevenson

Introduction by Julia Reid


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“In the steerage there are males and females; in the second cabin ladies and gentlemen. For some time after I came aboard I thought I was only a male; but in the course of a voyage of discovery between decks, I came on a brass plate, and learned that I was still a gentleman. Nobody knew it, of course.”

In The Amateur Emigrant, Robert Louis Stevenson gives a vivid, sharp, and thoroughly engaging account of his (impoverished) travels to and in America, first by steamer across the Atlantic from Glasgow to New York, and thence by train across the Great Plains. This booklet contains the first five chapters of part one, “From the Clyde to Sandy Hook”, with an Introduction by Dr Julia Reid.


  • Introduction
  • Dedication
  • I. The Second Cabin
  • II. Early Impressions
  • III. Steerage Scenes
  • IV. Steerage Types
  • V. The Sick Man


Julia Reid is Lecturer in Victorian Literature at Leeds University. She is the author of Robert Louis Stevenson, Science, and the Fin de Siècle (Palgrave, 2006), and is currently preparing an edition of Stevenson’s The Amateur Emigrant for Edinburgh University Press’s New Edinburgh Edition of the Collected Works of Robert Louis Stevenson.


Cover design by ASLS.


Also available:

Robert Louis Stevenson’s Fables
Peculiar and provocative, graceful, funny, sometimes eerie, and always beautiful, Stevenson’s Fables are true masterpieces of art, wit, and style.


Strange Tales
Three Uncanny Stories by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Association for Scottish Literary Studies presents three uncanny stories by Robert Louis Stevenson: “Thrawn Janet”; “The Tale of Tod Lapraik”; and “The Bottle Imp”. These eerie tales of witches, warlocks, and demonic pacts are outstanding examples of the storyteller’s art.



Last updated 18 May 2018.