Thursday, September 1, 2016

Classics Challenge: Robert Louis Stevenson

"The cruelest lies are often told in silence." ~Robert Louis Stevenson

This month we're hosting a Scottish writer! Robert Louis Stevenson, born November 13, 1850,  came from a family of lighthouse designers. In an attempt to follow the family profession, Stevenson studied engineering at Edinburg University, but later switched to law after lighthouse design failed to spark his interest. After he graduated with his law degree, he never practiced. The love of writing had taken him hostage.

Stevenson's first published book was AN INLAND VOYAGE. 

While Stevenson stretched his writing muscles, he met his would-be wife (who happened to already be married), Fanny Osbourne, an American with two children. After Fanny divorced her then-husband, she married Stevenson in 1880.

Shortly after his marriage, Stevenson's health declined (what some believe to be undiagnosed tuberculosis). He was forced to remain in bed, but it was at this point that his writing career took off. While bedridden he wrote the classic novels: Treasure Island, Kidnapped, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and The Black Arrow.

Stevenson died of a stroke on December 3, 1894.

Writerly Things to Learn from Robert Louis Stevenson:

1. What your family wants you to do, might not be what you're meant to do. If Stevenson had suppressed his love of writing in favor of lighthouse design, we wouldn't have his precious books today! We are all given different gifts. Don't let yours go to waste!

2. Travel is a spark for the imagination. Stevenson spent his life travelling. In his college years, he used his vacations to trek across France. In his lifetime his visited various places such as France, California, the islands of the Pacific Ocean, to finally settle in Samoan islands before he died. His travels richly influenced his imagination and his books.

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