Familiar Studies of Men and Books & Travels With a Donkey in the C?vennes
Travels with a Donkey in the C?vennes (1879) is one of Robert Louis Stevenson's earliest published works and is considered a pioneering classic of outdoor literature.Stevenson was in his late 20s and still dependent on his parents for support. His journey was designed to provide material for publication while allowing him to distance himself from a love affair with an American woman of which his friends and families did not approve and who had returned to her husband in California.Travels recounts Stevenson's 12-day, 200-kilometre (120 mi) solo hiking journey through the sparsely populated and impoverished areas of the C?vennes mountains in south-central France in 1878.The terrain, with its barren rocky heather-filled hillsides, he often compared to parts of Scotland. The other principal character is Modestine, a stubborn, manipulative donkey he could never quite master. It is one of the earliest accounts to present hiking and camping outdoors as a recreational activity. It also tells of commissioning one of the first sleeping bags, large and heavy enough to require a donkey to carry. Stevenson is several times mistaken for a peddler, the usual occupation of someone traveling in his fashion. Some locals are horrified that he would sleep outdoors and suggest it is dangerous to do so because of wolves or robbers. Stevenson provides the reader with the philosophy behind his undertaking:
Highland Mary; The Romance of a Poet
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