Robert Louis Stevenson

The Death Of Robert Louis Stevenson

Writers Write shares writing resources and writing trivia. In this post, we share details about the death of Scottish novelist and poet, Robert Louis Stevenson.

Robert Louis Stevenson, born 13 November 1850, was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer.  A literary celebrity during his lifetime, Stevenson is best known for his novels Treasure IslandKidnapped, and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. He is among the 26 most translated authors in the world.

In 1890 Stevenson purchased a tract of about 400 acres in Upolu, an island in Samoa. He settled on his estate in the village of Vailima. He took the native name Tusitala, which is Samoan for “Teller of Tales”.

On 3 December 1894, aged 44, Stevenson collapsed while talking to his wife, Fanny, and died within a few hours. He was buried with great local ceremony on Mount Vaea, Samoa, overlooking the sea.

His gravestone was inscribed with his own poem, Requiem:

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.

Stevenson was so loved by the Samoans, that his epigraph was translated to a Samoan song of grief ,which is well-known and still sung in Samoa.

Amanda Patterson by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 3rd December 2015
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