""In forming an opinion of an author's personality, the testimony of those who knew him cannot, of course, be disregarded. But it is still more important to consider what he has himself said, orally, and in wirting; in writings intended, and in writings not intended, for publication. .. Robert Louis Stevenson did not write an autobiography or keep a diary, and he did not make speeches. But he left abundant material for estimating his quality in his essays, tales, travels, and poems, and in his letters, written in earnest and mocking, consistent and contradictor, moods, some with the public judgement in view and some not. ..
Let me first indicate to what extent I can speak from first-hand knowledge. .. In early days Great Gulf were fixed between us. Stevenson's father and mother, Tories and State Church people, lived in the New Town of Edinburgh; and Louis went to the Edinburgh Academy. Mine, Liberals and Free Church, lived in the Old Town, and I attended the most democratic High School. .. Our first talk was in 1870, forty-nine years ago, in the rooms of the Speculative Society, a famous debating and social club, housed in the University of Edinburgh, which we both frequented for three or four years. Fellow-students for the Scotch Bar, we became advocates the same year, 1875. .."" from the book.
Charles John Guthrie, Lord Guthrie (1849-1920), was a contemporary of Stevenson, and a fellow student at Edinburgh University and fellow candidate for admission to the Scottish Bar in 1875. In 1908 Guthrie became tenant of Swanston Cottage (the Stevenson family's summer home from 1867 to 1880), and stayed there and in the New Town. By the time of his death in 1920 he had acquired a large collection of Stevenson material through personal contacts and through correspondence with a wide circle of Stevenson's friends and relatives. -wikipedia. [Beinecke 1301].