Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The World in PlayPortraits of a Victorian Concept$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Matthew Kaiser

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780804776080

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804776080.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use (for details see www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 20 October 2018

A Joy on the Precipice of Death

A Joy on the Precipice of Death

Muir and Stevenson in California

(p.117) Chapter 4 A Joy on the Precipice of Death
The World in Play
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines the California travel narratives of Scottish free spirits Robert Louis Stevenson and John Muir, who set out to purge the Victorian cult of leisure, specifically, outdoorsy sportiness, of its proprietary egoism. They reimagine the Golden State, their adopted home, as a sublime Romantic playground where the middle-class male ego disintegrates in the face of destructive nature, and where competitive men are reborn as little cosmic boys. Stevenson and Muir's literary efforts to rebrand California as a postapocalyptic, neo-Caledonian playground, as a land of death and play, helped shape the fledgling state's image of itself as an otherworldly and exceptional place. Modern California is a product, in part, of the Victorian world in play.

Keywords:   travel narratives, Robert Louis Stevenson, John Muir, Victorians, leisure, egoism, play

Stanford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.