In June 1888, Stevenson left San Francisco on board the Casco, arrving in the Marquesas Islands some three weeks later. In a letter to a friend, the writer noted that it was 'all a swindle: I chose these isles as having the most beastly population, and they are far better, and far more civilised than we.' Stevenson's engagement with indigenous cultures is a feature of his time in the Pacific. Here, the inclusion of his dinner plates, now stored in The Writer's Museum in Edinburgh, refers to Stevenson's thoughts on the tradition of cannibalism and the wider meanings of the word 'civilisation' in the context of his experience in the South Seas.