This pensive biography of Stevenson by the English novelist whose work has been criticized as both good and bad, is a sensitive study of R.L.S. as an artist and a human. As such it should win its acclaim from all camps, for G. B. Stern's personal touch- the way she relishes and revives the incidents of Stevenson's life- lends itself to his romantic and exotic course and to the warm and deep relationships with the people he knew. Beginning with his Edinburgh childhood, Stern displays her feeling for time and place as she reconstructs many of the scenes Stevenson lived and wrote about. Quoting liberally and writing colorfully, she takes us through the delicate, coddled youth, pausing to show Louis as deeply imaginative and a ringleader despite ill health, and, later as a seeming loafer who loved new ideas and lived life to the full. His romance with Fannie Osbourne and the subsequent years in California and the South Seas brought literary recognition, and, as importantly, a richness of life from which we still derive our benefits today. Fine young adult writing, this should endear the author of Treasure Island and Kidnapped to his readers.