Robert Louis Stevenson was a famous Victorian author. He mainly wrote mystery and adventure stories, and his books are still read and enjoyed today.
Here are some facts about Robert Louis Stevenson:
- Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1850. His family were wealthy and, as a child, he was looked after by his nanny, Alison Cunningham.
- When he was twelve, Robert Louis Stevenson, his parents and his nanny went on a five month holiday. They visited France, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany and Italy.
- Robert Louis Stevenson was a sickly child. He was exceedingly thin and frail, and he suffered with coughs and fevers.
- When he was just sixteen he wrote The Pentland Rising, a story based on an historical event. His father paid for 100 copies to be printed in pamphlet form.
- Robert Louis Stevenson went to Edinburgh University. He started to study engineering, but soon switched to studying the law. He passed his legal exams, but in his heart he knew he wanted to be a writer.
- In 1876 he went on a canoeing trip to Belgium and France with a friend. He kept a journal of his travels and used it to form the basis of his first book, An Inland Voyage.
- In France, Stevenson met an American woman called Fanny Osbourne. He fell in love with her.
- In 1879, Robert Louis Stevenson travelled all the way from Britain to America to see Fanny Osbourne, and they got married in 1880. They decided to live in Britain and set up home with Fanny’s twelve year old son (from her previous marriage), Lloyd.
- In 1881 the Stevenson family went on holiday in Scotland. It rained for days on end, and to pass the time Lloyd made up an drew a map of an imaginary island. The map made Robert Louis Stevenson think of pirates and treasure, and inspired him to write Treasure Island.
- Treasure island was first published as a book in 1883. It was very successful and turned Robert Louis Stevenson into a well-known writer.
- Robert Louis Stevenson continued to experience health problems as an adult. He suffered with chest infections and was often so ill he couldn’t leave his bed.
- In 1886 he wrote both The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Kidnapped. Much of the writing was done from his sickbed.
- From 1888 to 1890, the Stevenson family spent two years sailing around the Pacific Ocean islands. Robert Louis Stevenson decided to build a house on the island of Upolu, in Western Samoa. He carried on writing, but found it increasingly difficult as his illness become worse.
- In December 1894, Robert Louis Stevenson died. He was only 44 years old. His body was buried on Mount Vaea, Upolu.