Robert Louis STEVENSON
Born in Edinburgh in 1850, Robert Louis Stevenson was the son of a prosperous civil engineer. His father had plans for Stevenson to follow his profession but his son's ill health and weak disposition meant that an alternative career had to be decided upon. Choosing law as a compromise, Stevenson attended Edinburgh University to study for the court, but his growing disillusion with the Presbyterian life of his parent's class led to frequent clashes. He became distanced from his family preferring instead to lead a bohemian existence.
His fascination for the city's low life and his bizarre characters - it was rich material for his later stories. By the time Stevenson was called to the bar. In 1875 he was already determined to become a professional writer.
While still in his early twenties he began suffering from severe respiratory problems, which the Scottish climate did nothing to alleviate. In an attempt to relieve his symptoms he spend much of his life travelling to warmer countries and it was while living in France in 1876 that he met his future wife, Mrs Fanny Osbourne, a woman ten years his senior. In France he wrote his first travel books. He followed her to California by emigrant ship and they later married after her divorce was finalized. With her he travelled widely in the US and described his experiences in several books. Stevenson wrote many romantic adventure novels, loved by the young and admired by critics for their style and presentation of moral conflicts.
His famous Treasure Island became popular only after it had been republished. Stevenson wrote it for his step-son, twelve-year-old Lloyd Osbourne. Writing to his friend about the new book he declared that 'if this don't fetch the kids, why they have gone rotten since my day'.
In 1888 he took his family to the South Seas, once more in search of climate better to his condition. Settling in Samoa he built a reputation as a story-teller, especially among the natives. He died only 45 years old. He was a recognised and widely read author in his day.
Readers may also find the publication of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Kidnapped.
Father of young Jim Hawkins kept the "Admiral Benbow" inn. Once upon a time came to the inn door a tall, strong nut-brown man, his sea-chest. In a hand-barrow - he was a rum-soaked old sea dog.
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Robert Louis Stevenson Treasure Island
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