TO WRITE that Robert Louis Stevenson in his books and essays draws deeply upon his own experiences to an unusual degree would be commonplace, but it is precisely because of this characteristic that we are able to catch a glimpse of the early beginnings of the library finally established at Vailima on the island of Upolu in the Samoas, where Stevenson's restless wanderings at last came to an end. Almost incredibly, some of his own childhood books, together with many inherited from his father and grandfather, were shipped half way across the world to Samoa. There they were varnished against the tropical humidity to form the nucleus of his library.
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