Tag Robert Louis Stevenson

Our last day of festive celebrations belongs to Nancy Horan, whose book Under the Wide and Starry Sky is our first 2014 title. We hope you enjoyed spending time with us during the holidays: we most certainly did!

Editorial

New York Times, 1902

“It is utterly insufficient (to eat pie only twice a week), as anyone who knows the secret of our strength as a nation and the foundation of our industrial supremacy must admit. Pie is the American synonym of prosperity, and its varying contents the calendar of the changing seasons. Pie is the food of the heroic. No pie-eating people can ever be permanently vanquished.”

In response to an Englishman’s suggestion that Americans should reduce their daily pie eating to two days per week.

A friend sent me the above quote, knowing I am the pie baker in our family. It made me wonder: has American pie consumption dropped right along with our industrial supremacy? If so, my extended family rallies during holidays to help improve those statistics. We are a pie-eating people. I suited up at Thanksgiving in a white apron and my rolling-pin pin (a gift from a pie-loving sister-in-law) to turn out pumpkin and pecan pies – the standards, nothing heroic. But I’m craving something special for Christmas and find myself surfing the baking blogs. Maybe Lattice-topped Cranberry-Blueberry Pie. Mmmm. Here’s the link: http://www.the-baker-chick.com/2013/11/lattice-topped-cranberry-blueberry-pie/

Nancy Horan is the author of the international bestseller Loving Frank and of the forthcoming Under the Wide and Starry Sky, the story of Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife Fanny, published in January 2014. Find out more at www.nancyhoran.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy birthday Robert Louis Stevenson

On November 13th, 1850, Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer Robert Louis Stevenson was born at 8 Howard Place, Edinburgh.

A literary celebrity during his lifetime, Stevenson now ranks among the 26 most translated authors in the world, thanks to classics like Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
His works have been admired by many other writers, including Jorge Luis Borges, Bertolt Brecht, Arthur Conan Doyle, Cesare Pavese, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling, Jack London, Vladimir Nabokov, J. M. Barrie, and G. K. Chesterton.

Stevenson with his wife Fanny, second from right, and family, outside their property on the island of Samoa, where he spent the last few years of his life.

Stevenson with his wife Fanny, second from right, and family, outside their property on the island of Samoa, where he spent the last few years of his life.

Robert Louis Stevenson holds a special place in our Two Roads hearts: in January 2014 we are publishing Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan, the passionate and turbulent story of Stevenson and his tempestuous American wife, Fanny.To celebrate his birthday we have a range of activities going on on

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our social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Do take a look! We also have an exclusive guest blog post by Nancy Horan herself, sharing how Stevenson gave away his birthday: it’s a touching story, and you can find out more by visiting Hodder’s History Lives blog.

And don’t forget to join in on the celebration: download your RLS moustache here and post a picture of yourself proudly saying ‘Happy birthday RLS!’. We did (and had lots of fun)…

RLS tache group 1

Oct2

500! 0

We have come very close to a big Facebook milestone: our 500th Like. To celebrate this achievement and spread the word even further, we are giving away a proof of Nancy Horan’s new novel UNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKY (publishing next January). All you need to do is visit our Facebook page and follow

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Good luck and a big thank you!

Under the Wide and Starry Sky Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…the cover for UNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKY, the new book by Nancy Horan (and our first 2014 title!)

Under the wide and starry sky Robert Louis Stevenson Nancy HoranThe novel, Nancy’s second after Loving Frank (New York Times bestseller and Richard & Judy Bookclub pick), tells the passionate and turbulent story of Robert Louis Stevenson and his tempestuous American wife, Fanny, a fierce love affair-marked by intense joy and harrowing darkness that spans decades as they travel the world for the sake of his health following their art and dreams.

 

Nancy was in London this weekend and we gave her the very first proof of the book. She looks quite pleased, don’t you think?

 

Nancy Horan author of Loving frank and Under the Wide and Starry Sky Robert Louis Stevenson and Fanny

We publish in January 2014 and you can find out more here on the website and on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nancy Horan was featured in the Book Expo America Daily edition of Publishers Weekly and luckily we had an insider in New York ready to bring back evidence (thanks Lisa!). Read the interview below and head over to our Facebook page to see pics of Nancy signing advance readers copies of Under the Wide and Starry Sky.

NANCY HORAN

Follows Her Heart

by Genevieve Valentine

 

In 1879, Robert Louis Stevenson was on a train to California in pursuit of Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne, 10 years his senior and married, with whom he’d fallen in love. For Nancy Horan, the journey sparked her curiosity; her curiosity sparked a new novel.

Under the Wide and Starry Sky (Two Roads, January 2014) uses letters, diaries, and essays to chart a complicated love story.

He was from an upper-class Scottish family, she was almost like a Henry James character, a very independent woman – self-made, pre-feminist, she explains.

Horan began ‘an exploration of an amazing pair of people.’ The relationship spanned two decades and three continents, and left plenty of material. ‘ Stevenson alone, eight volumes of letters!’ she says, laughing. But Horan’s careful process (the book was five years in the making) relies on the historical context the documents provide.

That’s what really draws me to a story. I like it if there’s an engaging series of events and a change in the characters. I begin by doing research, but it continues all the way through, and it’s absolutely the case with this story. I know where it’s going, I have a general idea of what they’re doing in a given year and what their lives were like, but during that process there’s so much to read and so much to learn.

It doesn’t all find a place (‘Chapters will bite the dust,’ she explains pragmatically), but the background ‘enriches the whole process.’

Horan is no stranger to reconstructing historical figures: her 2007 blockbuster debut, Loving Frank, took Fran Lloyd Wright’s mistress, Mamah Borthwick Cheney, from historical footnote to heroine of a novel about identity and the

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public eye. That approac brought Osbourne’s voice to the fore in Under the Wide and Starry Sky. Though their stories differ, Horan sees both women in conversation within the genre of historical fiction.

You find they were up against challenges that we don’t necessarily face any more. In particular, the issue of divorce was alive for both of those women, and a very hard obstacle to overcome.

Despite being well-regarded among his contemporaries, Stevenson’s writing fell out of favor in the 20th century. However he’s enjoying a critical renaissance, and Horan hopes that readers might come back to Stevenson’s work with a new eye.

But historical and literary significance aside, she considers the novel a personal journey.

I hope that people are as engaged and captivated by these people as I was.

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