This article first appeared in the _British Weekly_ for 13 May 1887, forming Stevenson's contribution to a symposium on this subject by some of the celebrated writers of the day, including Gladstone, Ruskin, Hamerton; and others as widely different as Archdeacon Farrar and Rider Haggard. In the same year (1887) the papers were all collected and published by the _Weekly_ in a volume, with the title _Books Which Have Influenced Me_. This essay was later included in the complete editions of Stevenson's _Works_ (Edinburgh ed., Vol. XI, Thistle ed., Vol. XXII).

[Note 1: First published in the _British Weekly_, May 13, 1887.]

[Note 2: Of the _British Weekly_.]

[Note 3: _The most influential books ... are works of fiction_. This statement is undoubtedly true, if we use the word "fiction" in the sense understood here by Stevenson. It is curious, however, to note the rise in dignity of "works of fiction," and of "novels"; people used to read them with apologies, and did not like to be caught at it. The cheerful audacity of Stevenson's declaration would have seemed like blasphemy fifty years earlier.]

[Note 4: _Mrs. Scott Siddons_. Not for a moment to be confounded with the great actress Sarah Siddons, who died in 1831. Mrs. Scott Siddons, in spite of Stevenson's enthusiasm, was not an actress of remarkable power.]

[Note 5: _Kent's brief speech_. Toward the end of _King Lear_.]

"Vex not his ghost: O, let him pass! he hates him That would upon the rack of this tough world Stretch him out longer."]

[Note 6: _D'Artagnan ... Vicomte de Bragelonne_. See Stevenson's essay, _A Gossip on a Novel of Dumas's_ (1887), in _Memories and Portraits_. See also Note 3 of Chapter II above and Note 43 of Chapter IV above. _Vicomte de Bragelonne_ is the title of the sequel to _Twenty Years After_, which is the sequel to the _Musketeers_. Dumas wrote 257 volumes of romance, plays, travels etc.]

[Note 7: _Pilgrim's Progress_. See Note 13 of Chapter V above.]

[Note 8: _Essais of Montaigne_. See Note 6 of Chapter VI above. The best translation in English of the _Essais_ is that by the Elizabethan, John Florio (1550-1625), a contemporary of Montaigne. His translation appeared in 1603, and may now be obtained complete in the handy "Temple" classics. There is a copy of Florio's _Montaigne_ with Ben Jonson's autograph, and also one that has what many believe to be a genuine autograph of Shakspere.]

[Note 9: "_Linen decencies_." "The ghost of a linen decency yet haunts us."--Milton, _Areopagitica_.]

[Note 10: _Whitman's Leaves of Grass_. See Stevenson's admirable essay on _Walt Whitman_ (1878), also Note 12 of Chapter III above.]

[Note 11: _Have the gift of reading_. "Books are written to be read by those who can understand them. Their possible effect on those who cannot, is a matter of medical rather than of literary interest." --Prof. W. Raleigh, _The English Novel_, remarks on _Tom Jones_, Chap. VI.]

[Note 12: _Herbert_. See Note 18 of Chapter IV above.]

[Note 13: _Caput mortuum_. Dry kernel. Literary, "dead head."]

[Note 14: _Goethe's Life, by Lewes_. The standard Life of Goethe (in English) is still that by George Henry Lewes (1817-1878), the husband of George Eliot. His _Life of Goethe_ appeared in 1855; he later made a simpler, abridged edition, called _The Story of Goethe's Life_. Goethe, the greatest literary genius since Shakspere, and now generally ranked among the four supreme writers of the world, Homer, Dante, Shakspere, Goethe, was born in 1749, and died in 1832. Stevenson, like most British critics, is rather severe on Goethe's character. The student should read Eckermann's _Conversations with Goethe_, a book full of wisdom and perennial delight. For _Werther_, see Note 18 of Chapter VI above. The friendship between Goethe and Schiller (1759-1805), "his honest and serviceable friendship," as Stevenson puts it, is among the most beautiful things to contemplate in literary history. Before the theatre in Weimar, Germany, where the two men lived, stands a remarkable statue of the pair: and their coffins lie side by side in a crypt in the same town.]

[Note 15: _Martial_.

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