Robert Louis Stevenson (November 13, 1850 - December 03, 1894)
Born: 13th November, 1850
Died: 3rd December, 1894
Nationality: Scottish
Profession/Occupation: Writer
Region: Edinburgh, Scotland, Vailima, Samoa
Notable works: "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", "Treasure Island", "Weir of Hermiston", "The Beach of Falesa", "The Master of Ballantrae", "Kidnapped", "A Child's Garden of Verses", "Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes", "Virginibus Puerisque", "Catriona"

Robert Louis Stevenson Facts

Biography

Robert Louis Stevenson, in full Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson, (born November 13, 1850, Edinburgh, Scotland--died December 3, 1894, Vailima, Samoa), Scottish essayist, poet, and author of fiction and travel books, best known for his novels Treasure Island (1881), Kidnapped (1886), Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886), and The Master of Ballantrae (1889).

Early life

Stevenson was the only son of Thomas Stevenson, a prosperous civil engineer, and his wife, Margaret Isabella Balfour. His poor health made regular schooling difficult, but he attended Edinburgh Academy and other schools before, at age 17, entering Edinburgh University, where he was expected to prepare himself for the family profession of lighthouse engineering. But Stevenson had no desire to be an engineer, and he eventually agreed with his father, as a compromise, to prepare instead for the Scottish bar.

He had shown a desire to write early in life, and once in his teens he had deliberately set out to learn the writer's craft by imitating a great variety of models in prose and verse. His youthful enthusiasm for the Covenanters (i.e., those Scotsmen who had banded together to defend their version of Presbyterianism in the 17th century) led to his writing The Pentland Rising, his first printed work. During his years at the university he rebelled against his parents' religion and set himself up as a liberal bohemian who abhorred the alleged cruelties and hypocrisies of bourgeois respectability.

In 1873, in the midst of painful differences with his father, he visited a married cousin in Suffolk, England, where he met Sidney Colvin, the English scholar, who became a lifelong friend, and Fanny Sitwell (who later married Colvin). Sitwell, an older woman of charm and talent, drew the young man out and won his confidence. Soon Stevenson was deeply in love, and on his return to Edinburgh he wrote her a series of letters in which he played the part first of lover, then of worshipper, then of son. One of the several names by which Stevenson addressed her in these letters was "Claire," a fact that many years after his death was to give rise to the erroneous notion that Stevenson had had an affair with a humbly born Edinburgh girl of that name. Eventually the passion turned into a lasting friendship.

Later in 1873 Stevenson suffered severe respiratory illness and was sent to the French Riviera, where Colvin later joined him. He returned home the following spring. In July 1875 he was called to the Scottish bar, but he never practiced. Stevenson was frequently abroad, most often in France. Two of his journeys produced An Inland Voyage (1878) and Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes (1879). His career as a writer developed slowly. His essay "Roads" appeared in the Portfolio in 1873, and in 1874 "Ordered South" appeared in Macmillan's Magazine, a review of Lord Lytton's Fables in Song appeared in the Fortnightly, and his first contribution (on Victor Hugo) appeared in The Cornhill Magazine, then edited by Leslie Stephen, a critic and biographer. It was these early essays, carefully wrought, quizzically meditative in tone, and unusual in sensibility, that first drew attention to Stevenson as a writer.

Stephen brought Stevenson into contact with Edmund Gosse, the poet and critic, who became a good friend. Later, when in Edinburgh, Stephen introduced Stevenson to the writer W.E. Henley. The two became warm friends and were to remain so until 1888, when a letter from Henley to Stevenson containing a deliberately implied accusation of dishonesty against the latter's wife precipitated a quarrel that Henley, jealous and embittered, perpetuated after his friend's death in a venomous review of a biography of Stevenson.

In 1876 Stevenson met Fanny Vandegrift Osbourne, an American lady separated from her husband, and the two fell in love. Stevenson's parents' horror at their son's involvement with a married woman subsided somewhat when she returned to California in 1878, but it revived with greater force when Stevenson decided to join her in August 1879. Stevenson reached California ill and penniless (the record of his arduous journey appeared later in The Amateur Emigrant, 1895, and Across the Plains, 1892). His adventures, which included coming very near death and eking out a precarious living in Monterey and San Francisco, culminated in marriage to Fanny Osbourne (who was by then divorced from her first husband) early in 1880. About the same time a telegram from his relenting father offered much-needed financial support, and, after a honeymoon by an abandoned silver mine (recorded in The Silverado Squatters, 1883), the couple sailed for Scotland to achieve reconciliation with the Thomas Stevensons.

Romantic novels

Soon after his return, Stevenson, accompanied by his wife and his stepson, Lloyd Osbourne, went, on medical advice (he had tuberculosis), to Davos, Switzerland. The family left there in April 1881 and spent the summer in Pitlochry and then in Braemar, Scotland. There, in spite of bouts of illness, Stevenson embarked on Treasure Island (begun as a game with Lloyd), which started as a serial in Young Folks, under the title The Sea-Cook, in October 1881. Stevenson finished the story in Davos, to which he had returned in the autumn, and then started on Prince Otto (1885), a more complex but less successful work. Treasure Island is an adventure presented with consummate skill, with atmosphere, character, and action superbly geared to one another. The book is at once a gripping adventure tale and a wry comment on the ambiguity of human motives.

In 1881 Stevenson published Virginibus Puerisque, his first collection of essays, most of which had appeared in The Cornhill. The winter of 1881 he spent at a chalet in Davos. In April 1882 he left Davos; but a stay in the Scottish Highlands, while it resulted in two of his finest short stories, "Thrawn Janet" and "The Merry Men," produced lung hemorrhages, and in September he went to the south of France. There the Stevensons finally settled at a house in Hyeres, where, in spite of intermittent illness, Stevenson was happy and worked well. He revised Prince Otto, worked on A Child's Garden of Verses (first called Penny Whistles), and began The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses (1888), a historical adventure tale deliberately written in anachronistic language.

The threat of a cholera epidemic drove the Stevensons from Hyeres back to Britain. They lived at Bournemouth from September 1884 until July 1887, but his frequent bouts of dangerous illness proved conclusively that the British climate, even in the south of England, was not for him. The Bournemouth years were fruitful, however. There he got to know and love the American novelist Henry James. There he revised A Child's Garden (first published in 1885) and wrote "Markheim," Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The poems in A Child's Garden represent with extraordinary fidelity an adult's recapturing of the emotions and sensations of childhood; there is nothing else quite like them in English literature. In Kidnapped the fruit of his researches into 18th-century Scottish history and of his feeling for Scottish landscape, history, character, and local atmosphere mutually illuminate one another. But it was Dr. Jekyll--both moral allegory and thriller--that established his reputation with the ordinary reader.

In August 1887, still in search of health, Stevenson set out for America with his wife, mother, and stepson. On arriving in New York, he found himself famous, with editors and publishers offering lucrative contracts. He stayed for a while in the Adirondack Mountains, where he wrote essays for Scribner's and began The Master of Ballantrae. This novel, another exploration of moral ambiguities, contains some of his most impressive writing, although it is marred by its contrived conclusion.

Life in the South Seas

In June 1888 Stevenson, accompanied by his family, sailed from San Francisco in the schooner yacht Casco, which he had chartered, on what was intended to be an excursion for health and pleasure. In fact, he was to spend the rest of his life in the South Seas. They went first to the Marquesas Islands, then to Fakarava Atoll, then to Tahiti, then to Honolulu, where they stayed nearly six months, leaving in June 1889 for the Gilbert Islands, and then to Samoa, where he spent six weeks.

During his months of wandering around the South Sea islands, Stevenson made intensive efforts to understand the local scene and the inhabitants. As a result, his writings on the South Seas (In the South Seas, 1896; A Footnote to History, 1892) are admirably pungent and perceptive. He was writing first-rate journalism, deepened by the awareness of landscape and atmosphere, such as that so notably rendered in his description of the first landfall at Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas.

In October 1890 he returned to Samoa from a voyage to Sydney and established himself and his family in patriarchal status at Vailima, his house in Samoa. The climate suited him; he led an industrious and active life; and, when he died suddenly, it was of a cerebral hemorrhage, not of the long-feared tuberculosis. His work during those years was moving toward a new maturity. While Catriona (U.S. title, David Balfour, 1893) marked no advance in technique or imaginative scope on Kidnapped, to which it is a sequel, The Ebb-Tide (1894), a grim and powerful tale written in a dispassionate style (it was a complete reworking of a first draft by Lloyd Osbourne), showed that Stevenson had reached an important transition in his literary career. The next phase was demonstrated triumphantly in Weir of Hermiston (1896), the unfinished masterpiece on which he was working on the day of his death. "The Beach of Falesa" (first published 1892; included in Island Night's Entertainments, 1893), a story with a finely wrought tragic texture, as well as the first part of The Master of Ballantrae, pointed in this direction, but neither approaches Weir. Stevenson achieved in this work a remarkable richness of tragic texture in a style stripped of all superfluities. The dialogue contains some of the best Scots prose in modern literature. Fragment though it is, Weir of Hermiston stands as a great work and Stevenson's masterpiece.

Legacy

Stevenson was an indefatigable letter writer, and his letters (edited by Sidney Colvin in 1899) provide a lively and enchanting picture of the man and his life. But Colvin omitted many of the most interesting letters and compressed and dovetailed others, with the result that many important facts about Stevenson's emotional life remained unknown until the true text of all the letters was available. Colvin presented Stevenson's letters to Fanny Sitwell to what is now the National Library of Scotland with the proviso that they were not to be opened until 1949; the revealing and often fascinating letters to Charles Baxter, a friend, were deposited in the Yale University Library. Stevenson's biography suffered from his being early canonized; later writers built up a counterpicture of an immoral swaggerer restrained into reluctant respectability by a jealous wife. Access to the crucial letters yielded a picture of a Stevenson who was neither the "seraph in chocolate" against whom Henley protested nor a low-living rake nor an optimistic escapist nor a happy invalid but a sensitive and intelligent writer who had no illusions about life and wryly made the best of a world to which he did not profess to have the key.

Stevenson's literary reputation has also fluctuated. The reaction against him set in soon after his death: he was considered a mannered and imitative essayist or only a writer of children's books. But eventually the pendulum began to swing the other way, and by the 1950s his reputation was established among the more discerning as a writer of originality and power whose essays at their best are cogent and perceptive renderings of aspects of the human condition; whose novels are either brilliant adventure stories with subtle moral overtones or original and impressive presentations of human action in terms of history and topography as well as psychology; whose short stories produce some new and effective permutations in the relation between romance and irony or manage to combine horror and suspense with moral diagnosis; whose poems, though not showing the highest poetic genius, are often skillful, occasionally (in his use of Scots, for example) interesting and original, and sometimes (in A Child's Garden) valuable for their exhibition of a special kind of sensibility.

Top 102 Robert Louis Stevenson quotes

We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.
Best
Find
Friend
Honest
Our
Travelers
Travels
Wilderness
World
Every man has a sane spot somewhere.
Every
Every man
Man
Sane
Somewhere
Spot
Man is a creature who lives not upon bread alone, but primarily by catchwords.
Alone
Bread
Creature
Lives
Man
Primarily
Who
Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.
Day
Each
Each day
Harvest
Judge
Plant
Reap
Seeds
You
A friend is a gift you give yourself.
Friend
Gift
Give
You
Yourself
Our business in life is not to succeed, but to continue to fail in good spirits.
Business
Continue
Fail
Good
Life
Our
Spirits
Succeed
It is a golden maxim to cultivate the garden for the nose, and the eyes will take care of themselves.
Care
Cultivate
Eyes
Garden
Golden
Maxim
Nose
Take
Take care
Themselves
Will
The cruelest lies are often told in silence.
Cruelest
Lies
Often
Silence
There is only one difference between a long life and a good dinner: that, in the dinner, the sweets come last.
Between
Come
Difference
Dinner
Good
Last
Life
Long
Long life
Only
Sweets
I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
Affair
Anywhere
Go
Great
Move
Sake
Travel
It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.
Air
Beauty
Changes
Claim
Forest
Hearts
Makes
Men
Much
Old
Quality
Something
Spirit
Subtle
Nothing more strongly arouses our disgust than cannibalism, yet we make the same impression on Buddhists and vegetarians, for we feed on babies, though not our own.
Babies
Cannibalism
Disgust
Feed
Impression
Make
More
Nothing
Our
Own
Same
Strongly
Than
Though
The web, then, or the pattern, a web at once sensuous and logical, an elegant and pregnant texture: that is style, that is the foundation of the art of literature.
Art
Elegant
Foundation
Literature
Logical
Once
Pattern
Pregnant
Style
Texture
Then
Web
It is the mark of a good action that it appears inevitable in retrospect.
Action
Appears
Good
Good action
Inevitable
Mark
Retrospect
There is no progress whatever. Everything is just the same as it was thousands, and tens of thousands, of years ago. The outward form changes. The essence does not change.
Change
Changes
Does
Essence
Everything
Form
Just
Outward
Progress
Same
Tens
Tens of thousands
Thousands
Thousands of years
We must accept life for what it actually is - a challenge to our quality without which we should never know of what stuff we are made, or grow to our full stature.
Accept
Actually
Challenge
Full
Grow
Know
Life
Made
Must
Never
Our
Quality
Should
Stature
If a man loves the labour of his trade, apart from any question of success or fame, the gods have called him.
Any
Apart
Fame
Gods
Him
His
Labour
Loves
Man
Question
Success
Trade
All speech, written or spoken, is a dead language, until it finds a willing and prepared hearer.
Dead
Finds
Language
Prepared
Speech
Spoken
Until
Willing
Written
To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.
Become
Becoming
Capable
End
Life
Only
Nothing like a little judicious levity.
Judicious
Levity
Like
Little
Nothing
Marriage: A friendship recognized by the police.
Friendship
Marriage
Police
Recognized
Everyone lives by selling something.
Everyone
Lives
Selling
Something
Books are good enough in their own way, but they are a poor substitute for life.
Books
Enough
Good
Life
Own
Poor
Substitute
Way
To become what we are capable of becoming is the only end in life.
Become
Becoming
Capable
End
Life
Only
There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.
Foreign
Lands
Only
Traveler
Who
Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.
Cannot
Clock
Fortune
Frightened
Go
Like
Minds
Misfortune
Own
Pace
Perplexed
Private
Quiet
Thunderstorm
Politics is perhaps the only profession for which no preparation is thought necessary.
Necessary
Only
Perhaps
Politics
Preparation
Profession
Thought
Which
We all know what Parliament is, and we are all ashamed of it.
Ashamed
Know
Parliament
Perpetual devotion to what a man calls his business is only to be sustained by perpetual neglect of many other things.
Business
Calls
Devotion
His
Man
Many
Neglect
Only
Other
Perpetual
Sustained
Things
The body is a house of many windows: there we all sit, showing ourselves and crying on the passers-by to come and love us.
Body
Come
Crying
House
Love
Many
Ourselves
Showing
Sit
Us
Windows
Vanity dies hard; in some obstinate cases it outlives the man.
Cases
Dies
Hard
Man
Obstinate
Some
Vanity
Everybody, soon or late, sits down to a banquet of consequences.
Banquet
Consequences
Down
Everybody
Late
Soon
When it comes to my own turn to lay my weapons down, I shall do so with thankfulness and fatigue, and whatever be my destiny afterward, I shall be glad to lie down with my fathers in honor. It is human at least, if not divine.
Afterwards
Destiny
Divine
Down
Fathers
Fatigue
Glad
Honor
Human
Lay
Least
Lie
My own
Own
The mark of a good action is that it appears inevitable in retrospect.
Action
Appears
Good
Good action
Inevitable
Mark
Retrospect
Wine is bottled poetry.
Bottled
Poetry
Wine
Give us grace and strength to forbear and to persevere. Give us courage and gaiety and the quiet mind, spare to us our friends, soften to us our enemies.
Courage
Enemies
Friends
Gaiety
Give
Grace
Mind
Our
Persevere
Quiet
Soften
Spare
Strength
Us
We live in an ascending scale when we live happily, one thing leading to another in an endless series.
Another
Endless
Happily
Leading
Live
One thing
Scale
Series
Thing
No man is useless while he has a friend.
Friend
He
Man
Useless
While
So long as we are loved by others I should say that we are almost indispensable; and no man is useless while he has a friend.
Almost
Friend
He
Indispensable
Long
Loved
Man
Others
Say
Should
Useless
While
The price we have to pay for money is sometimes liberty.
Liberty
Money
Pay
Price
Sometimes
The obscurest epoch is today.
Epoch
Today
The truth that is suppressed by friends is the readiest weapon of the enemy.
Enemy
Friends
Suppressed
Truth
Weapon
Most of our pocket wisdom is conceived for the use of mediocre people, to discourage them from ambitious attempts, and generally console them in their mediocrity.
Ambitious
Attempts
Conceived
Console
Discourage
Generally
Mediocre
Mediocrity
Most
Our
People
Pocket
Them
Use
You cannot run away from weakness; you must some time fight it out or perish; and if that be so, why not now, and where you stand?
Away
Cannot
Fight
Must
Now
Out
Perish
Run
Some
Stand
Time
Weakness
Where
Why
The world is full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings.
Full
Happy
Kings
Number
Should
Sure
Things
World
You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.
Give
Giving
Love
Loving
Never
Without
You
Of what shall a man be proud, if he is not proud of his friends?
Friends
He
His
Man
Proud
Shall
To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.
Arrive
Better
Better thing
Hopefully
Than
Thing
Travel
Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.
Banquet
Consequences
Down
Everyone
Later
Sooner
Sooner or later
The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean; not to affect your reader, but to affect him precisely as you wish.
Affect
Difficulty
Him
Literature
Mean
Precisely
Reader
Wish
Write
You
Your

Robert Louis Stevenson essays

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Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde Essay
The main theme of the novela, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, is about man's dual being and between good and evil. The publication represents a double life of a person who is fed up with his normal life. Dr. Jekyll, a doctor and a well-liked member of a society of successful bachelors, that values his perfect reputation, created Mr. Hyde. His other persona. Dr. Jekyll considered this as an experiment to satisfy his dreams. He also felt repressed by the Victorian population. This is what my essay is going to be about. I would explain Dr. Jekyll's apperance as somewhat a relaxed, middle-aged, large,..
Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde Essay
As a student, you are often asked by professors to write interesting and catchy book reports. When it comes to crafting Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde essays, they are about the interesting story told by Robert Louis Stevenson, which is a great addition to any college or high school literature class. This brief novel offers quite an interesting and unique plot, elegant writing styles, vivid characters, and provocative themes that are still relevant nowadays. When it comes to your writing an informative essay, you may need some help for different reasons, such as not having enough time to complete this assignment..
Jekyll and Hyde: Medication Addiction
Keywords: sold a slave to my original evil The first stage of Dr. Henry Jekyll's addiction is Robert Louis Stevenson's nineteenth century novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, addiction is a very important undertone. Stevenson writes "It had been on this area that my new vitality lured me until I fell in slavery. I had fashioned but to drink the glass, to doff simultaneously your body of the known professor, and to assume, like a thick cloak, that of Edward Hyde" (Stevenson 109). In other words, Dr. Henry Jekyll concocts an extremely strong potion in his lab and beverages it. Due to his ingesting the potion,..
Planning principles involved in creating a marketing strategy
Yum! Brands Introduction Yum! Brands, Inc. , based in Louisville, Ky. , is the world's greatest restaurant company in conditions of system restaurants with more than 37, 000 restaurants in over 110 countries and territories and much more than 1 million associates. Yum! is ranked #239 on the Bundle of money 500 List, with nearly $11 billion in income in 2009 2009. Four of our own restaurant brands - KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Long John Silver's - are the global leaders of the poultry, pizza, and Mexican style food and quick-service sea food categories. The Yum! system including 3 operating..
Theme Of Duality Jekyll And Mr Hyde English Literature Essay
"The Strange Circumstance of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde" is a story occur 19th century London and revolves around the partnership of the reputable, righteous Dr Jekyll and the violent, detestable Mr Hyde. The book was compiled by Robert Louis Stevenson who was simply raised in an extremely strict spiritual family which acquired a idea that man was either good or bad and could not be in between. The strict upbringing is obvious in the reserve as Stevenson includes a amount of questions on whether Dr Jekyll's work (carrying out experiments to separate his personality) is morally right. Stevenson..
Repression and Hypocrisy in the Odd Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Dissertation
Penny Fielding highlights his point of view in Robert Louis Stevenson's Unusual case of Dr . Jekyll and Mr. Hyde the fact that novel paints ‘a damning portrait of society defined by repression and its inevitable twin, hypocrisy'. Fielding also insists afterwards that the relationship between repression and hypocrisy is one particular theme of this novel that may not be overlooked. This kind of opinion may be approved of any truth after reading the novel. Clampdown, dominance and hypocrisy run through the entire story which usually reflect on descriptions of every persona. In this..
An Analysis Of Treasure Island
Value Island: A great AnalysisValue Island, simply by Robert Louis Stevenson, can be described as tale of adventure filled with interesting characters and set in unique locales. This kind of paper will present background information in both the new and its writer and examine and go over the major personas, themes and motifs. Stevenson was born the sole child of the prosperous middle-class family in Edinburgh, Ireland, in Nov 1850. His father, Jones, was a detrimental engineer who also specialized in the style and development of lighthouses. His mom, Margaret, was the daughter of any well-known..
Hyde in Dr . Jekyll and Mister. Hyde by simply Robert Paillette Stevenson Dissertation
Hyde in Dr . Jekyll and Mister. Hyde by simply Robert Louis StevensonStevenson presents Hyde in many various ways by explaining the mainfigure of Hyde, in an powerful and detailed style, and providing avariety of language, images and ambiance, which will also help togenerate the image which Hyde stands for. Stevenson explores what goodand evil symbolised at that time in the Victorian world, and howthis leads up to the representation of Hyde.Respectability and reputation were very important factors to considerinside the Victorian society. The Victorian society was very stronglydivided..
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Science and medicine in the eighteenth-century started to make amazing progress (Gingras and Demasiado 157). For example , diseases began to prolong the regular lifespan (Olsen 275) and many industrial groups developed more reliable technologies (Olsen 301). While at the beginning of the eighteenth-century, when science and technology began to improve, a large number of believed in the event they led a desired life, then their loss of life would lead to living in Nirvana for everlasting (Olsen 288). In the later part of the eighteenth-century the quick advancements in science and technology..
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