Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)
November 13, 1850, in Edinburgh, Scotland. His father was an
engineer who, with his two brothers,
was responsible for building over forty lighthouses around
Britain. He was an only child whose later autobiographical
essays and poetry ("A Child's Garden of Verses")
described growing up in Edinburgh.
from ill health but started an engineering course at
Edinburgh University with the intention of going into his
father's business. But he wanted to be a professional
writer, and eventually, as a compromise with his father, he
studied for a law degree instead, passing the English
bar exams in 1875.
vacations he spent in France with his cousin, an artist,
became the basis for "Travels with a Donkey in the
Cevennes". He sometimes wrote in the Scots vernacular,
including a number of poems and the story of "Thrawn
France he met Fanny Vandegrift Osbourne, an American who was
ten years older than himself. Despite disapproval from his
father, he followed her across America and married her in
San Francisco. However, he had contracted tuberculosis and
spent the following years trying to find places conducive to
helping to allay his symptoms.
"Treasure Island" in 1882 and the thriller Dr
Jekyll and Mr Hyde"and "Kidnapped" in 1886. While
in America he started "The Master of Ballantrae," set
in Scotland and America.
He made a
number of voyages to the South Seas, and eventually settled
in Samoa in 1890. He continued writing there but
unexpectedly died of a stroke on December 3, 1894.