Born in Edinburgh in 1850, to strict Calvinist parents, Robert Louis Stevenson was a famous Scottish novelist, poet and travel writer. His ill health meant that he spent the latter part of his life voyaging the world, in an attempt to find a climate that suited his health, and this contributed to the exoticism of much of his work. He finally settled in Samoa, and died in 1899. Revered during his lifetime, and often harshly underrated since his death, Robert Louis Stevenson is today recognized as one of the the great writers of the nineteenth century, having influenced authors such as Graham Greene, Jorge Luis Borges and Vladimir Nabokov.
[Kidnapped] compelled me from the first words and has not let go to this day... It implanted an image of how a novel should work. I think a lot of my ambitions as a writer, and many of my own persisting themes, originate there: friendship, courage, the need to go out into the world and make your fate. I reread it every couple of years, and get more interested in it, not less. -- Hilary Mantel * Hilary Mantel *