This is a fast-moving tale of passion and politics.
In Prince Otto, first published in serial form in 1885, Stevenson uses his genius for adventure and romance to explore some decidedly grown-up themes.
The tiny 19th-century German state of Grunewald seems to be a principality of the world of fairy-tale.
But its ruler is beset in public by the forces of modern politics, and troubled in private by an unhappy marriage.
Ill-prepared to deal with either, Otto is forced to choose between them.
This first fully edited edition of the novel will provoke readers to think again about the scope and purpose of Stevenson's brilliant story-telling.
It explores the most modern of themes, the moral compromises required by marriage: a romance in which the marriage of the hero and the heroine is not the happy conclusion of the plot, but the problem that the plot has to resolve.
It is a fascinating text for what it tells us about Stevenson's goals and aspirations at this crucial stage of his career, and about the changing nature of the novel in English at the end of the 19th-century.