EdRLS

The New Edinburgh Edition of the Collected Works of Robert Louis Stevenson

Archive for November 2015

x or n?

with 5 comments

When transcribing Stevenson’s manuscripts certain letters can be deceptive. One of these is ‘x’.

1868-70

In an early period, Stevenson formed his ‘x’ like a multiplication sign:

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Indeed, in the case of example 3 (‘Reminiscences of Colinton Manse’), the 2-stroke-x helps confirm a dating to c. 1870.

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Change

In mid-1872 Stevenson worked for a time in an Edinburgh law firm, Messrs. Skene and Peacock. During that time he wrote a journal of a few pages, recently sold at auction; I suspect that if examined, this would contain the s-c ‘x’ (like the letter used in algebra): in a law firm he would have to write a ‘clerkly hand’ (i.e. a form of roundhand) and in this hand the ‘x’ is formed in this way.

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1873 onwards

Whether this is true or not, from 1873 onwards, we only find the s-c form for ‘x’, as in the following examples (the first is the old-form, included for comparison):

Screenshot 2015-11-05 17.49.53

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‘x’ vs ‘n’

Screenshot 2015-11-05 17.35.33

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Written by rdury

05/11/2015 at 5:05 pm

Posted in News