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    The Lighthouse Stevensons (Paperback) By (author) Bella Bathurst


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    DescriptionBella Bathurst's epic story of Robert Louis Stevenson's ancestors and the building of the Scottish coastal lighthouses against impossible odds. 'Whenever I smell salt water, I know that I am not far from one of the works of my ancestors,' wrote Robert Louis Stevenson in 1880. 'When the lights come out at sundown along the shores of Scotland, I am proud to think they burn more brightly for the genius of my father!' Robert Louis Stevenson was the most famous of the Stevensons, but not by any means the most productive. The Lighthouse Stevensons, all four generations of them, built every lighthouse round Scotland, were responsible for a slew of inventions in both construction and optics, and achieved feats of engineering in conditions that would be forbidding even today. The same driven energy which Robert Louis Stevenson put into writing, his ancestors put into lighting the darkness of the seas. 'The Lighthouse Stevensons' is a story of high endeavour, beautifully told; indeed, is was one of the most celebrated works of historical biography in recent memory. 'My own interest in the Lighthouse Stevensons is threefold. Firstly, from the writings of Robert Louis Stevenson, who turned his family's trade into the raw gold of all his best fiction. Secondly, from various trips around Scotland. The country's coast is a mass of storm-beaten rocks and treacherous headlands on which even the seagulls have trouble landing. It is impossible not to speculate what combination of courage and skill built the lighthouses around such an environment. And thirdly, because somewhere in there, unrecognised and unsung, is the most wonderful story!'

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  • Full bibliographic data for The Lighthouse Stevensons

    The Lighthouse Stevensons
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Bella Bathurst
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 304
    Width: 130 mm
    Height: 196 mm
    Thickness: 21 mm
    Weight: 242 g
    ISBN 13: 9780007241705
    ISBN 10: 0007241704

    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1DBKS
    BIC subject category V2: HBTM
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T5.6
    BIC E4L: HIS
    BIC subject category V2: WQY
    BISAC V2.8: HIS015000
    DC22: 387.1550922
    LC subject heading: , ,
    BISAC V2.8: TEC014000
    Edition statement
    Illustrations note
    16 b/w illus
    HarperCollins Publishers
    Imprint name
    Publication date
    05 February 2007
    Publication City/Country
    Author Information
    Bella Bathurst is a freelance journalist whose portfolio includes work for the Observer, Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, Independent on Sunday, Guardian, Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday. Her first book, The Lighthouse Stevensons: The Extraordinary Story of the Building of the Scottish Lighthouses by the Ancestors of Robert Louis Stevenson, was widely acclaimed. She published her first novel 'Special' was published in 2003.
    Review quote
    'Bella Bathurst has built a lamp herself: it illuminates the work of a literary hero, a family business, a habit of mind and a Scottish period!from the summit of this first terrific book she looks to become one of the best biographers of her generation.' Andrew O'Hagan, The Times 'Deeply accomplished!this splendid book preserves the memory of great deeds performed in a heroic era.' Frank McLynn, Sunday Times 'An enthralling story, vivaciously recounted!These were epic and scarifying adventures, indicative of an age when the taming of nature was a philosophical given, its execution a religious passion.' Alan Taylor, Observer 'This is a grand book doing for lighthouses what Dava Sobel's "Longitude" did for marine chronometers, and doing it, if comparisons are to be made, with considerably more panache.' Nicholas Bagnall, Sunday Telegraph 'A fine and scrupulous book ! Robert Louis Stevenson would have relished the tale' Ian Bell, Scotsman