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Robert Louis Stevenson
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"Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh in 1850. The son of a prosperous civil engineer, he was expected to follow the family profession but finally was allowed to study law at Edinburgh University. In his early twenties he became afflicted with a severe respiratory illness from which he was to suffer for the rest of his life; it was at this time that he determined to become a professional writer. The harsh nature of the Scottish climate forced him to spend long periods abroad and he eventually settled in Samoa, where he died on 3 December 1894.
"Stevenson's Calvinistic upbringing gave him a preoccupation with pre-destination and a fascination with the presence of evil. In Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde he explores the darker side of the human psyche, and the character of the Master in The Master of Ballantrae (1889) was intended to be 'all I know of the Devil'. Stevenson is well known for his novels of historical adventure, including Treasure Island (1883), Kidnapped (1886) and Catriona (1893).
"During the last years of his life Stevenson's creative range developed considerably and The Beach of Fales▀ brought to fiction the kind of scene now associated with Conrad and Maugham.
"At the time of his death Robert Louis Stevenson was working on his unfinished masterpiece, Weir of Hermiston, which is at once a romantic historical novel and an emotional reworking of one of Stevenson's own most distressing experiences, the conflict between father and son."
Source: Penguin Web Site (http://www.futurenet.co.uk/Penguin/Authors/578.html) Accessed 10 June 1997.
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The author photograph is reproduced from Robert Louis Stevenson: Poet and Teller of Tales. (Bryan Bevan. London: Rubicon P, 1993. Following Page 86. PR 5493 B48 1993 ROBA.)
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