Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson portrait image to appear alongside the Robert Louis Stevenson biography.

Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh in 1850, into a family of famous lighthouse engineers. Robert soon realised that engineering was not for him; on trips with his father around the Scottish coast he instead discovered a love of adventures and stories, and by the age of twenty-one he decided to become a writer. His first books were accounts on his travels around Europe, but he later went on to write fiction, notably the children's novel Treasure Island - featuring parrots, pirates and Long John Silver - and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, an early psychological thriller set in London.

Stevenson was a sickly child and health problems plagued him throughout his life. Hoping to find a climate that would ease his suffering, he spent periods living in Europe, America and the Pacific islands. These voyages influenced his imagination and gave him a particular interest in strange lands and the strangeness - and frailty - of human life.

Stevenson was popular in his day but criticised by early twentieth century authors for writing money-spinning commercial fiction. He has since been acknowledged as on of the great authors of English literature. He died in 1894 in Samoa, where he and his wife and stepson had finally made a home.

Robert Louis Stevenson books reviewed


  • Treasure Island (1883)
  • The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses (1883)
  • Prince Otto (1885)
  • Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886)
  • Kidnapped (1886)
  • The Master of Ballantrae (1889)
  • The Wrong Box (1889)
  • The Wrecker (1892)
  • Catriona (1893)
  • The Ebb-Tide (1894)
  • Weir of Hermiston (1896)
  • St. Ives: being the Adventures of a French Prisoner in England (1897)