Robert Louis Stevenson

Author details

Nov. 13, 1850
Dec. 3, 1894

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Robert Lewis Balfour Stevenson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of a lighthouse engineer. As a child he was often sick, especially during the winter months, possibly due to chronic bronchiectasis. He often tutored at home due to his illnesses, but at age eleven he was sent to Edinburgh Academy. He was always interested in writing stories, and his father published his first book, The Pentland Rising: A Page of History, 1666, in 1866.

In 1867 he went to the University of Edinburgh for engineering, although the discipline did not interest him. In 1871, he told his father that he intended to be a writer. His parents convinced him to return to the University of Edinburgh to read Law. After travelling to London and Paris, becoming active in literary circles in both cities, and a physical collapse in 1873 and recovery in the French Riviera, qualified for the Scottish bar in 1875. However, he never practised law, engaging instead in travel and writing.

In the course of his travels, Stevenson met Fanny Vandegrift Osbourne, an American mother of two who was in France to study art, in 1876. They met again in 1877 and became lovers, and he spent …

Books by Robert Louis Stevenson