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Name: Robert Louis Stevenson

From: 1850

To: 1894

Biography: Stevenson was born and educated in Edinburgh, but in later life travelled the world in search of adventure and a climate that was less injurious to his health. In this self-imposed exile he remembered the people and landscapes of his homeland, including those he had encountered as a child. From 1863–65 he holidayed with his parents in Peebles, at the age of 13 writing a satirical study of the town’s inhabitants in imitation of Thackeray’s Book of Snobs. It was around this time that he learned to ride, and he travelled on mounted excursions from North Berwick to Innerleithen. In 1863 also, he visited his uncle in the parish of Stow, an area which made a lasting impression on him.

In later life RLS recalled his father’s failed attempts to inculcate principles of engineering whilst the two of them observed wavelets in the rivers Tweed, Lyne and Manor. In June 1882, he returned to Peebles with his wife and mother. With some relish, RLS claimed descent from the Elliots who ‘shook a spear in the Debatable Land’.

Background Reading: Frank McLynn (1993) Robert Louis Stevenson: a Biography, London, Hutchinson, ISBN 0091776384; Caire Harman (2005) Robert Louis Stevenson: a Biography, London, HarperCollins, ISBN 0007113218.

Titles: Weir of Hermiston | St Ives: Being the Adventures of a French Prisoner in England |

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