By Robert Louis Stevenson. First published 1879.
In 1878 Robert Louis Stevenson, then in his twenties, set out from the village of Le Monastier to travel south through the Cevennes, the mountain range of south-central France. Determined to try to camp out, he had a sleeping sack constructed and then acquired a donkey to carry it.
The sleeping sack was a novelty—“a child of my invention,” as he calls it. But he himself, as he observes, was a novelty. “A traveller of my sort was a thing hitherto unheard of in that district. I was looked upon with contempt, like a man who should project a journey to the moon, but yet with a respectful intent, like one setting forth for the inclement Pole.” (more…)