March 2011 | Jonathan Shipley

Robert Louis Stevenson's Missing Masterpiece

It's been found.

More than 130 years after it was started, his abandoned first novel has been recovered and will be completed and published soon.

From an article in Scotland's The Herald:

Before the swashbuckling Kidnapped, before the sinister The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, there was The Hair Trunk. Begun in 1877 when Stevenson was only 27 years old, The Hair Trunk was supposed to be the definitive novel of the bohemian age, drawing on his time in artists' colonies in France.

However, within two years he had abandoned it. His first official novel, Treasure Island, would only appear in 1883.

The Hair Trunk has lain incomplete since then, considered a mere juvenile curio by Stevenson scholars. Few were aware of it. Even fewer have read it. It existed only on 140 parched pages in an American library.

That is, until now.

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