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The Wrong Box

Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

Book Overview: 

The Wrong Box is a comedy about the ending of a tontine (a tontine is an arrangement whereby a number of young people subscribe to a fund which is then closed and invested until all but one of the subscribers have died. That last subscriber then receives the whole of the proceeds). The story involves the last two such survivors and their relations, a train crash, missing uncles, surplus dead bodies and innocent bystanders. A farce really.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .of mine, you see, and he helped me through my trouble last year. And I was thinking, would it be fair-like on Watts to saddle him with an old party like you, who might be the death of him with general information. Would it be fair to the 'ouse?' enquired Mr Chandler, with an air of candid appeal.

'Mark me,' cried the old gentleman with spirit. 'It was kind in you to bring me here for nothing, but it gives you no right to address me in such terms. Here's a shilling for your trouble; and, if you do not choose to set me down at the "Tregonwell Arms", I can find it for myself.'

Chandler was surprised and a little startled; muttering something apologetic, he returned the shilling, drove in silence through several intricate lanes and small streets, drew up at length before the bright windows of an inn, and called loudly for Mr Watts.

'Is that you, Jem?' cried a hearty voice from the stableyard. 'Come in and warm yourself.'

'I only s. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Body, body--Who's got the body?!

The Wrong Box (1889) is a hilarious mystery spoof by Robert Louis Stevenson and his stepson Lloyd Osbourne. It revolves around Masterson and Joseph Finsbury, two brothers who are the last surviving beneficiaries of a tontine. A tontine is a rather diabolical "investme

The Wrong Box by Robert Louis Stevenson is one of his lesser-known works probably because it is a farce revolving around a tontine – a group insurance policy that goes to the last survivor – a bad idea in any era. The tontine inevitably leads to cheating, regardless of the family members, no matter

A brigante, brigante e mezzo!

Santi numi, signor Mattiolimilleottocentottantacinque! che scherzo birbone è stato mai questo?!? Mi ha sottratto dal volume 30 pagine. Con una magia, ha fatto sparire le pagine da 129 a 160!
Ma io che ... non per dire, in fatto di Magia …… ho prontamente recuperato le

Spassosissima e intricatissima commedia degli equivoci piena di personaggi buffi, cialtronerie e situazioni assurde.
Un romanzo di Stevenson purtroppo poco conosciuto, ma che meriterebbe più notorietà e sarebbe anche perfetto per una trasposizione cinematografica o per una miniserie tv.

Much more humorous and to the point than 'The Wrecker'. While totally unbelievable, it was still quite quite funny. Point in case - Morris's enumerations of 'good' and 'bad' things in chapter six was hilarious.

" Bad. —— Good.

4. I have almost no money.

4. But there is plenty in the bank.

5. Yes, but

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