Lowell D. Holmes

Treasured islands : cruising the South Seas with Robert Louis Stevenson

Sheridan House

New York, 2001

bibliothèque insulaire


parutions 2001
Treasured islands : cruising the South Seas with Robert Louis Stevenson / Lowell D. Holmes. - Dobbs Ferry (N.Y.) : Sheridan house, 2001. - XV-281 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
ISBN 1-57409-130-1
NOTE DE L'ÉDITEUR : Robert Louis Stevenson is one of the best-loved writers in the English language. Over 30 biographies have been written about him, yet this highly readable account of the last years of his life and his death in Samoa is very different.

Islands is the account of Stevenson's desperate search for health, and his fulfillment of a life-long ambition of crossing broad oceans in tall ships to gain an understanding of what it means to share a cultural world beyond the frontiers of civilized society. It is the story of a literary giant and his supportive but somewhat eccentric family — his wife Fanny, mother Maggie and stepson Lloyd — and the ships — the Casco, the Equator, and the Janet Nicoll — that transported them to high adventure in the South Pacific between the years 1888 and 1890.

The story 
also has other interesting characters — capable and colorful boat crews, beachcombers, island potentates and their subjects in the Marquesas, Tahiti, the Tuamotus, Hawaii and Samoa. It describes life in the late 1880s on these islands, European economic exploitation, cultural stability and change of indigenous populations, and the day-to-day life aboard commercial sailing vessels. An eager student of Polynesian cultures, Stevenson lived in the South Pacific for the remainder of his short life.

Lowell D. Holmes, a writer and film maker, is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas. He has produced a documentary film on Robert Louis Stevenson in the Pacific. He is the author of several academic books on anthropological topics and especially Samoa. In addition to his academic interests, he has been a lifelong sailor.


  • The Casco, A schooner to paradise
  • The Marquesas, the Land of Men
  • The Tuamotus, the Dangerous desert islands
  • Tahiti, the pearl of the Pacific
  • Hawaii, crossroads of the Pacific
  • The Equator chronicle, copra and kings
  • Samoa, down payment on a dream
  • The Janet Nicoll, the Jumping Jenny adventure
  • Vailima, home is the sailor, home from the sea


  • Lowell D. Holmes, « Samoan islands bibliography », Wichita (Kansas) : Poly Concepts pub., 1984
  • Lowell D. Holmes, « Quest for the real Samoa : the Mead/Freeman controversy and beyond », South Hadley (Mass.) : Bergin & Garvey publishers, 1987

mise-à-jour : 18 septembre 2005