BEING MEMOIRS OF THE ADVENTURES OF DAVID BALFOUR IN THE YEAR 1751
HOW HE WAS KIDNAPPED AND CAST AWAY; HIS SUFFERINGS IN A DESERT ISLE; HIS JOURNEY IN THE WILD HIGHLANDS; HIS ACQUAINTANCE WITH ALAN BRECK STEWART AND OTHER NOTORIOUS HIGHLAND JACOBITES; WITH ALL THAT HE SUFFERED AT THE HANDS OF HIS UNCLE, EBENEZER BALFOUR OF SHAWS, FALSELY SO CALLED
Maybe they used long titles because that was the only way for people to know what the book was about, since their press was a lot tinier than what we have today (we probably have the most fractured outlets ever). Plus, language has become more concise in modern times, especially since literacy is more widespread than a few hundred years ago.
Now I'm interested in reading about Stevenson's life. I wouldn't be surprised if end up reading a biography of him (if I can find a juicy one).