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In Prince Otto, first published in serial form in 1885, Stevenson uses his genius for adventure and romance to explore some decidedly grown-up themes. The tiny nineteenth-century German state of Grünewald seems to be a principality of the world of fairy-tale. But its ruler is beset in public by the forces of modern politics, and troubled in private by an unhappy marriage. Ill-prepared to deal with either, Otto is forced to choose between them.
This first fully edited edition of the novel provokes readers to think again about the scope and purpose of Stevenson's brilliant story-telling. It includes explanatory notes, original illustrations, authoritative textual apparatus and an introduction to the composition, context and publication history of the volume. The text is based on full collation manuscript and all states of publication.
Robert Irvine is Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh.