History of the Cevennes

Many historical events affected the way Robert Louis Stevenson wrote his books, these historical events may have affected his travels such as those documented in Travels with a Donkey.
Travels with a Donkey follows Stevenson on his travels through Cevennes in France, with Modestine-a donkey.  


Stevenson embarked on a 12 day solo hiking journey with Modestine through the impoverished areas of Cevennes mountains in south-central France. His travels introduced to readers hiking and camping as recreational unlike the view of it being somewhat tiresome and not something to do in your spare time.   
In 1702, a Protestant rebellion took place in the Cevennes, which was repressed by Louis XIV. He was King of France at the time and a Catholic. The rebellion resulted in the divide, mentioned in Stevenson's book, Catholics and Protestants, at the time of Stevenson's travels, lived peacefully but with an apparent divide still evident.
The Cevennes has a large community of Protestants, due to the rebellion. The Protestant insurgents known as Camisards rose up against the monarcy in 1702, although both sides agreed on peace in 1715. However the divide mentioned above was still present in 1879, at the time Stevenson's book was written.

 The protestant rebellion is similar to the situation in England in the 1700s. At this time England ruled Ireland after Henry VIII split from the Catholic Church. He did so because the Pope would not grant him a divorce so that he could marry Anne Boleyn. He then formed his own church- Church of England. This led to a divide between the Catholics (Irish) and the Protestants (English). The English then decided to take land and also taxes from the Irish. The Irish became extremely poor and lived in impoverished conditions. They suffered from famine and many died, resulting in rumours of cannibalism as a way to  survive the famine. This shows that the divide of Catholic and Protestant appeared in many countries especially in the 18th and 19th Century.