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Rare collection of Stevenson works returning to capital

A RARE collection of books and papers belonging to one of Scotland's favourite writers is on its way home.

Robert Louis Stevenson's letters and first editions of his works are among the collection given to the National Library of Scotland and Edinburgh Napier University.

The writer, best known for Treasure Island, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Kidnapped, was born in Edinburgh in 1850. He spent much of his life travelling, and died in Samoa in the South Pacific in 1894.

Many of his papers were sold after his death, but Stevenson scholar Dr Ernest Mehew has painstakingly attempted to reunite the author's relics.

His collection consists of more than 40 boxes of papers and 2000 books and includes first editions, rarities, biographies, collections of letters, reference books, critical studies and bound copies of the magazines in which Stevenson's work first appeared.

In the 1960s Dr Mehew edited Stevenson's letters; locating, sorting, transcribing and dating 2800 of them, many of which were published for the first time.

Dr Mehew was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was awarded an honorary doctorate by Edinburgh University in 1998. Following his death last year his works were donated to the National Library, with the books going to Napier.

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