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Father Damien: An Open Letter

Robert Louis Stevenson

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This is a truly remarkable work from one of the best adventure writers of our or any time. Typically engaged in the authorship of such delightful excursions as Kidnapped and Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson read a denunciation of Father Damien of Molokai—the priest who famously gave his life in the service of the lepers of Molokai island, and has since become Saint Damien—and was concerned. Stevenson, himself a Protestant, was troubled by the denunciation he'd read in a religious paper, which had been written by a fellow Protestant. It is a scathing response to the author, a systematic take-down of style and substance, without ever descending into profanity or vulgar sniping. Stevenson reveals himself to be an author and thinker of surprising depth. Short and well worth a read. 13 pp., English. Purchase in Print | PDF (free)