|Picture from www.scotiana.com|
As a child, Stevenson was very sickly and was often off school and being cared for at home. He allowed his mind to wander through reading, and his favourite tales were often about far away lands.
When he grew up, Stevenson became one of the most successful writers of his era and also was a celebrated traveller. He started journeying away from home, further afield each time, and soon considered himself a man of the world.
In 1888, he left home for the Pacific and never returned, which scandalised the Victorian British society. He married an American lady and they lived their lives in Samoa amongst the natives, fully immersing themselves in the local lifestyles.
Stevenson died in 1894 and is buried on Mount Vaea overlooking the sea. His own 'Requiem' is inscribed on his tomb, written in the days when he felt himself becoming ill, knowing the end would come unexpectedly.
- Under the wide and starry sky,
- Dig the grave and let me lie.
- Glad did I live and gladly die,
- And I laid me down with a will.
- This be the verse you grave for me:
- Here he lies where he longed to be;
- Home is the sailor, home from sea,
- And the hunter home from the hill.
- Poem from http://www.poetry-archive.com
Stevenson's most famous works include Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, but it in this course we've studied a short story called 'The Beach of Falesa' from South Sea Tales.
The theme of study is 'Home and Abroad in the Victorian Age', and looks at how the British colonists behaved in the Pacific islands.
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