The University is leading the compilation of the first complete scholarly edition of the works of Robert Louis Stevenson.
Work on the New Edinburgh Edition is based in the Department of English and Scottish Literature. It will be the first complete scholarly edition of the works of Stevenson, bringing all his writing into print, with full notes and introductions.
The edition has four General Editors, who take all the editorial decisions and over see the project. One of the editors is Dr Penny Fielding from Edinburgh. The remaining editors are based at the universities of Bergamo, Virginia and Cardiff.
The edition was inaugurated by a year of meetings and workshops funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2008-09.
The project will take 10-12 years to complete and is the first complete critical edition of Stevenson at a time of great academic interest in his work.
Published by Edinburgh University Press, the 38 planned volumes will fully research the textual history of Stevenson’s writing from the initial creative process, through serial publication to the first edition and subsequent editions during Stevenson’s lifetime.
The individual texts will be edited by a team of scholars from Britain, France, Italy, Germany, America and Australia and each volume will have full annotations, an introduction to the text and its literary contexts, and an essay on its origins, production and reception.
In many cases, Stevenson’s texts have had a chequered history - some were suppressed, and others published in fragmentary form. In some cases Stevenson checked proofs very carefully, but in others proofs never reached him. The New Edinburgh Edition will describe and evaluate all the states of writing and publication.
Stevenson is a Scottish author of world importance. Our international team of scholars will produce the most complete and authoritative edition of his work for generations of readers to come.
Dr Penny Fielding
Department of English and Scottish Literature
The New Edinburgh Edition will recreate versions of texts as they were originally published, creating books that are useful for readers today and would be recognised by the original readers.
Compiling the edition will lead to new discoveries not only about the texts themselves, but also about how Stevenson wrote, who he worked with, what his readers expected and how his writing was received.
As the edition progresses, searchable digitized texts will be deposited in an archive held at the National Library of Scotland so that the full extent of the production of Stevenson’s works can be accessed by future readers and scholars.
The Scottish Writing in the Nineteenth Century research project has organised a programme of public and academic events to disseminate and contextualise the work of the New Edinburgh Edition.
Events have included a workshop and public lectures, and in 2011 a series of 3 lectures and workshops will be held at the National Library of Scotland to introduce and discuss ideas about scholarly editing.
The first wave of texts includes Kidnapped, The Amateur Emigrant, Prince Otto, The Dynamiter, Weir of Hermiston and four volumes of Stevenson’s essays, collected for the first time with a comprehensive index.
This article was published on Aug 13, 2010