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Robert Louis Stevenson: Famous Last Words

Posted in Famous Last Words on Saturday, 28 May 2011

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Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on 13 November 1850 and became one of the most famous of all Scottish authors, poets essayists and travel writers.

picture, Robert Louis Stevenson, portrait

Robert Louis Stevenson, creator of Treasure Island and Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde

Stevenson’s father was particularly proud of his son’s early interest in writing and paid to have Robert’s first publication, an account of The Pentland Rising published on its 200th anniversary when Robert was only 16. Although he studied law, he never practiced; instead, frail health meant journeys to healthier climates, which Stevenson used as the basis for travel books.

Soon he was writing some of his best known works: Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and The Black Arrow. He eventually settled on Samoa in the Pacific where he wrote more famous works, including The Master of Ballantrae and Catriona. On 3 December 1894, he collapsed, probably from a cerebral haemorrhage; surrounded by family and by Samoans who insisted on watching over him, he led them in his last prayer:

Behold with favour, O Lord, the weak men and women gathered together in the peace of this roof. When the day returns God would call them with morning faces and morning hearts, eager to labour, eager to be happy if happiness should be their portion.

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