Robert Louis Stevenson Day – 13th November 2012

RLS Day 2012 (Tuesday 13th November) saw members of the Long John Silver Trust catch the red-eye special from Bristol Airport to Edinburgh to take part in a marathon reading of Treasure Island.

Our friends in the RLS Club of Edinburgh were celebrating the anniversary of Stevenson’s birthday by doing an all-day reading of his ‘breakthrough’ classic in the foyer of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

Star readers for the day were RLS enthusiasts Nigel Planer and John Sessions along with Scottish actor John ‘Jack’ Shedden and other doyens of the RLS Club.

We each took 12 minute chapters edited by the days supremo Jeremy Hodges who had made all the arrangements with the able assistance of Ailene Hunter and Gillean Arjat amongst others. We started at 10am and Jack Shedden finished the event (with a final flourish) at 5pm.

The reason Jeremy had chosen the fantastic location of the foyer of the Portrait Gallery was because it contained the magnificent  bust of RLS himself created by Stevenson’s cousin.

Not only that but the Portrait Gallery also features a copy of Rodin’s famous depiction of William Ernest Henley. As Stevenson buffs know, Gloucester born Henley was an inspiration’s for one of Stevenson’s most memorable (and complex) character’s, Long John Silver.

Myself, as Long John Steedsy, and the Prof, ‘Billy Bones’ Fairney, reprised our roles as narrators of Treasure Island but this time to Jeremy’s fine script. As you can see in the attached pictures, Bill once again steals the show as Ben Gunn.

All of the readers were on fine form and it was an honour and pleasure to be part of such a great day, remembering one of the world’s greatest authors.

Happy birthday Lewis!
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