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Between GenerationsCollaborative Authorship in the Golden Age of Children's Literature$
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Victoria Ford Smith

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781496813374

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496813374.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 05 August 2021

Family Dynamics

Family Dynamics

The Strange Case of Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

(p.92) Chapter Two Family Dynamics
Between Generations

Victoria Ford Smith

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter tracks Robert Louis Stevenson’s collaboration with his stepson, Lloyd Osbourne. This partnership reveals both Stevenson’s complex understanding of authorship and how technologies and genres designed to enforce adult authority over children—the toy press and adventure fiction—can instead encourage intergenerational collaboration. Through privately printed and publicly circulated texts, Stevenson and Osbourne explored the relationships that surround and indeed comprise the figure of the writer: between adult and child, between author and businessman, and among multiple contributors to a text. Authorship emerges as a social act among multiple generations and personae. Tracing this collaboration from Osbourne’s childhood ventures with his stepfather, including the composition of Treasure Island, through the pair’s coauthorship as adults and into Osbourne’s maturity, this chapter illuminates how the child’s growth and entrance into adulthood transforms the practice of multiple authorship and provides authors the opportunity to explore the possibilities of child agency.

Keywords:   Stevenson, collaboration, adventure fiction, Treasure Island, child agency

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