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The World of Robert Louis Stevenson


... including Treasure Island. ... He also loved adventure, and this combination of a love of language and adventure made his books quite popular in their time. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The World of Robert Louis Stevenson

The World of Robert Louis Stevenson
Who is Robert Louis Stevenson?
  • He was a Scottish writer from the nineteenth
    century who wrote many poems, travel books and
    novels, including Treasure Island. He loved
    language, and his poetic turn of phrase is
    obvious even in his fiction. He also loved
    adventure, and this combination of a love of
    language and adventure made his books quite
    popular in their time.

Stevensons Early Life
  • born in 1850 in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • His father was a lighthouse engineer and so was
    his grandfather he was allowed to accompany his
    father on lighthouse inspections
  • he was sick a lot and missed school
  • he did not have brothers or sisters

Reading and Writing
  • Stevenson missed a lot of school and so didnt
    learn to read until he was about seven or eight
  • Stevenson didnt always fit in
  • He always loved to write stories, even dictating
    them to his mother, nurse, or tutor
  • Stevensons father paid for the publishing of a
    small book when Stevenson was 16

University Years
  • Stevenson studied engineering, but didnt really
    like it
  • He debated
  • Dabbled in drama
  • Spent time with Bob, a lively artistic cousin
  • Stevenson decided to pursue writing
  • His father was at first angry, but then agrees to
    it, so long as he studies law as a back-up career

The Young Man
  • Stevenson makes many friends in London
  • He grows his hair long and dresses a bit bohemian
  • He falls in love with an older woman
  • One of the new friends he makes is William
    Henley, a writerhe would later become the model
    for Stevensons famous character Long John Silver

Stevenson Gets Sick and Well
  • Stevenson is still prone to coughs and chest
  • In 1873 he had a physical collapse and was sent
    to the French Riviera
  • He returned in better health in April 1874
  • settled down to his studies, but he would often
    return to France in the coming years
  • He visited Paris galleries and theatres
  • He did qualify for the Scottish bar in 1875, but
    never practiced law
  • Concentrates on travel and writing. One of his
    journeys was a canoe voyage in Belgium and France

Stevenson Falls in Love!
  • Fanny is a divorced American with two children
  • Robert is head over heels!

Stevenson Seeks Out Fanny
  • Stevenson returned to Britain, but Fanny remained
    in his thoughts
  • In August 1878, Fanny returned to her home in San
  • A year later he set off to join her, against the
    advice of his friends and without notifying his
  • He took second class passage on the steamship, to
    save money, to learn how others travelled, and to
    increase the adventure
  • He travelled by train to California
  • His health was broken near Monterey
  • He was nursed back to health by some ranchers
  • By December 1879 he had recovered his health
    enough to continue to San Francisco, where for
    several months he struggled "all alone on
    forty-five cents a day
  • He found Fanny who nursed him back to health
  • His father heard of his condition and cabled him

Marriage and Happiness
  • In 1880 Stevenson married Fanny he said he was
    "a mere complication of cough and bones
  • With his new wife and son, Lloyd, he travelled
    north of San Francisco to Napa Valley and spent a
    summer honeymoon at an abandoned mining camp
  • He met Charles Warren Stoddard, editor of the
    Overland Monthly,, who urged Stevenson to travel
    to the south Pacific and to write
  • In August 1880 he sailed with his new family from
    New York back to Britain
  • His new wife becomes part of the new family
    through her charm and wit

Stevenson Writes Treasure Island
  • Vacationing in the Scottish Highlands in 1881
  • Its a cold and rainy late-summer day
  • Stepson Lloyd busy with a box of paints I
    happened to be tinting a map of an island I had
  • Stevenson began to add on to his map he wrote
    Treasure Island

Stevenson and Family Live on the Island of Samoa
Stevenson dies at the age of 46
  • Probably a cerebral hemorrhage
  • The islanders consider him one of their own

  • Stevensons novel has guided our perception of
  • - one-legged pirate (his friend Henley)
  • - rum
  • - treasure maps with X
  • - never met a pirate learned a lot about
    sailing from his father and grandfather,
    lighthouse engineers

Not the first but maybe the best pirate story
  • A great coming-of-age story!
  • Strong characters!
  • Action at every turn!

Pirates of the 1700s and Modern Day