Exploring the life and times of author Robert Louis Stevenson, The Proper Pirate takes readers on a psychological journey from the writer's religious and constricted upbringing to a life of imagination and wonder culminating in the South Seas island of Samoa. Drawing on contemporary theories of identity development, Jefferson A. Singer traces how Stevenson overcame Victorian dualities of piety versus passion in both his personal life and artistic works, gradually edging toward a more Modernist and complicated moral vision. This first full-length psychobiographical study of Stevenson follows the trajectory of his life, all while highlighting how key memories and conflicts within his personality shaped the narrative structure and themes of some of his most celebrated works, including: Treasure Island, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, A Child's Garden of Verses, and Kidnapped. Stevenson's relationships to his parents, his wife Fanny, and circle of intimate friends also play a prominent role in this investigation of his emerging identity and artistic body of work.