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Robert Louis Stevenson’s


Introduction by William Gray
Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy

with a frontispiece by Gwen Adair

Published in: PDF, ePUB and mobipocket.

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“After the 32nd chapter of Treasure Island, two of the puppets strolled out to have a pipe before business should begin again, and met in an open place not far from the story ...”

So begins “The Persons of the Tale”, where Captain Smollett and Long John Silver, resting between chapters, discuss existence, morality, and what the Author might intend—a suitably arch and angled introduction to Robert Louis Stevenson’s twenty Fables. Published after Stevenson’s death, these strange little stories offer what the author called “tail foremost moralities”. Peculiar and provocative, graceful, funny, sometimes eerie, and always beautiful, Stevenson’s Fables are true masterpieces of art, wit, and style.



I. The Persons of the Tale
II. The Sinking Ship
III. The Two Matches
IV. The Sick Man and the Fireman
V. The Devil and the Innkeeper
VI. The Penitent
VII. The Yellow Paint
VIII. The House of Eld
IX. The Four Reformers
X. The Man and His Friend
XI. The Reader
XII. The Citizen and the Traveller
XIII. The Distinguished Stranger
XIV. The Cart-Horses and the Saddle-Horse
XV. The Tadpole and the Frog
XVI. Something In It
XVII. Faith, Half Faith, and No Faith At All
XVIII. The Touchstone
XIX. The Poor Thing
XX. The Song of the Morrow


Cover image from an illustration by Gwen Adair
With thanks to Måns Grebäck for the Signerica font


Also available:

The Amateur Emigrant
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Introduction by Julia Reid

Robert Louis Stevenson’s vivid, sharp, and thoroughly engaging account of his (impoverished) travels to and across America. This booklet contains the first five chapters of part one, “From the Clyde to Sandy Hook”.


Strange Tales: Three Uncanny Stories
by Robert Louis Stevenson

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 28 October 2014.