robert louis stevenson (1850 – 1894)

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Mary Reilly
Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish poet, travel writer and novelist. Though he started training as an engineer and then as a lawyer, he was always interested in writing and at the age of twenty-five, began to devote his life to literature. During his lifetime, he lived in France, the United States and in the South Seas, where he became known as ‘The Teller of Stories’.

1850: R. Louis Stevenson was born of a middle class family in Edinburgh. He had a strict religious upbringing.
At an early age he started suffering from tuberculosis.
1867: Stevenson was admitted to the University of Edinburgh. There, he studied natural sciences, but quite soon he left university because of his health and devoted himself to literature.
1873: He met Sidney Colvin, Professor of Fine Arts at Cambridge. Colvin became his editor.
Stevenson began his career in the South of France writing stories and essays published in Virginibus Puerisque. He remained in France till 1878.
1878: An Ireland Voyage was published.
1879: He published Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes.
He went to San Francisco where he married a divorced woman he had met in France.
1879-1887: The couple began travelling first in France then in Southern England.
In these years Stevenson wrote: Treasure Island, Prince Otto, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Kidnapped and The Black Arrow.
He became a close friend to Henry James.
1887: He left Europe forever and settled in the U.S.A. He started the composition of The Master of Ballantrae.
1888: Stevenson went on a cruise of the South Sea.
1889 on: The writer and his family settled in Samoa, an island in the Pacific Ocean.
These were the most serene years for Stevenson. He wrote Ebb Tide, Catriona and The Weir of Hermiston.
1894: He died in December and was buried at the top of Mount Vaea with the honours of the greatest Samoan chiefs.

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