Robert Louis Stevenson, Literary Treasure
The first children’s book by 19th century author Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) that children typically read is A Child’s Garden of Verses. Next might be Treasure Island, with its memorable characters, striking adventures, and realistic dialogue, released a century before the similar-themed Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise. You can access the ebook version at https://www.gutenberg.org. Following that book, readers may enjoy the classic book entitled The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a staple of middle school, high school, and college reading lists.
Scotland-born Robert Louis Stevenson was among the most widely read writers of his time and remains a top choice through today, especially for those who like adventures, poetry, or dark themes.
An excellent blog about the author can be found here: https://edrls.wordpress.com. A very thorough website, including biographical information, literary resources, and how to apply for the annual RLS Writing Competition in Scotland and RLS Day in Edinburgh is accessible here: https://robert-louis-stevenson.org.
Read more about Robert Louis Stevenson here: https://www.biography.com/writer/robert-louis-stevenson.
Stevenson House in Monterey, California
Now you can visit the author’s temporary home: https://www.seemonterey.com. He lived there briefly in 1879 but it had a lasting impact because he pulled Monterey experiences into Treasure Island. As the legend goes, he stayed in this house while courting his love interest, Fanny Osbourne, a magazine writer and artist who was ten years older than himself. She had moved there, having met Stevenson earlier in France, in an effort to move her life forward with Stevenson as her unhappy marriage to a former military officer was leading to divorce, according to https://stevensonmuseum.org.
If you reach it after hours, bear in mind that Monterey offers a self-guided tour that you can take by calling a phone number and keying in a code number that corresponds to the place where you are.
Monterey is near the tony town of Carmel, rugged Big Sur, and the rocky ocean coast. The small city area is a popular tourist destination. Monterey is also known for its aquarium and the Naval Postgraduate School.
Napa Valley Park and Museum
In 1880, Stevenson and Osbourne honeymooned at what is now a state park named after him in the Napa Valley region of California. The old bunkhouse where they stayed no longer exists, but a marker is placed there. For information, visit https://napaoutdoors.org/parks/robert-louis-stevenson-state-park.
The Robert Louis Stevenson Museum is also in Napa Valley at 4824 Lake County Highway #4774, next to the St. Helena Public Library in Calistoga. Visitor information is here: https://stevensonmuseum.org/visit.
The house in Monterey is the second stop and the museum is the final stop on our Northern California Author Adventures Trail.