Robert Louis Stevenson: Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes (1646 words)

Kathy Rees (University of Cambridge)
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Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes recounts a journey made by 28-year-old Stevenson across the desolate terrain of south-central France, following unfrequented paths and often sleeping under the stars. It is characterized as a Bohemian trek, an opportunity “to come down off this feather-bed of civilisation, and find the globe granite underfoot and strewn with cutting flints” (57). Stevenson’s claim, “I travel for travel’s sake”, echoes the “l’art pour l’art” philosophy of French aestheticism, implying that this travel-book has no didactic or utilitarian purpose, but is rather a personal meditation on life (57). However, the journey did have a purpose: as …

Citation: Rees, Kathy. "Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 January 2020 [, accessed 12 July 2020.]

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