Prince Otto was largely written between April and December 1883 and Stevenson's writing process for the book was unusual in the extreme. He said that it, "was written at HyŤres; it took me about five months" and he called Prince Otto, "my hardest effort". This seems to have been a fair judgement since one of the chapters was written eight times by Stevenson and once by his wife. Nonethless, on its publication in 1885, it received some very positive reviews. Andrew Land in the "Pall Mall Gazette" wrote somewhat floridly that: "it is a book to be drunk in one long breath, like a draught of sunny Moselle from a tapering, iridescent Venetian goblet"! Others saw the book as rather fanciful. For instance, the "Saturday Review" told us, "we are given... an impossible prince ruling over an impossible territory at an indeterminate time". Despite its mixed reviews, this tale of a faraway land in all its glorious obscurity is still enjoyable largely due to
the care with which Stevenson constructed it. It is a tour de force of imagination and effort.