R. L. Stevenson was born on November 13th ,1850 in Edinburgh where started studying law, but only literature interested him and he began early to write for magazines. His health (salute) was extremely delicate, and travelling was one of his greatest pleasures. He was in France, in Germany and in America. It was during this period he made most of his lasting (durature) friendships and met his future wife, Fanny Vandegrift Osbourne, an American who was 10 years his senior and married at the time with a son, Lloyd. In May, 1880, after her divorce, they got married. His return from America in 1880 marked for him the beginning of a period of great productiveness as from 1881 to 1886 he wrote the most successful novels including Treasure Island and The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses in 1883; The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) and Kidnapped (1886). In 1887 he went to America again , and in the next three years he visited the South Sea Islands. His successful production continued with The Master of Ballantrae (1889); Catriona (1893), a sequel to Kidnapped; Weir of Hermiston (1896)and St. Ives: being the Adventures of a French Prisoner in England (1897) both unfinished at the time of Stevenson’s death. Finally he settled down in Samoa where died suddenly in 1894. About his new country he wrote the short story collection Island Nights’ Entertainments (also known as South Sea Tales, 1893).
The natives buried (lo seppellirono) him on a spot overlooking the sea nearby (su un punto che gurada il mare vicino al) Mount Valea. On his tomb there is the inscription of his ‘Requiem’ and the piece he always had intended as his epitaph:
Under the wide and starry (stellato) sky,
Dig (scava) the grave (tomba) and let me lie (riposare).
Glad (contento)did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me (mi corico ) down with a will (con un desiderio).
This be the verse you grave for me (che questo sia il mio epitaffio):
Here he lies where he longed to be (qui giace dove desidervava);
Home is the sailor, home from sea (a csa è il marinaio dopo il mare),
And the hunter home from the hill (e a casa è il cacciatore dalla collina).