Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Scotland, married in California, wrote about the Caribbean, and died in Samoa.
Photograph by A.G. Dew Smith, courtesy the National Galleries of Scotland

Download this file

  • On November 13, 1850, author Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. Stevenson became a very famous writer in his own lifetime, and today is one of the most well-known British authors in the world. 
     
    Stevenson is famous for his travel and adventure stories. His first book, An Inland Voyage, was a record of his own canoe trip on the Oise River, from Belgium to France. Throughout his life, he wrote about his travels in Europe and the United States, and his many years on the island of Samoa in the South Pacific. 
     
    The Caribbean Sea is the setting for Treasure Island, Stevenson’s most popular novel. The book introduced thousands of readers to the region’s isolated tropical islands, as well as the character of the pirate Long John Silver. Long John Silver had many characteristics we now associate with pirates—his generally likable nature despite his position as a villain, his pet parrot perched on his shoulder, his peg leg, and his search for buried treasure—using a secret map where “X marks the spot.”
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    adventure Noun

    exciting or unusual experience.

    associate Verb

    to connect.

    author Noun

    person who writes.

    canoe noun, verb

    small, open boat with pointed ends.

    characteristic Noun

    physical, cultural, or psychological feature of an organism, place, or object.

    clever Adjective

    very smart.

    evil Adjective

    harmful or cruel.

    imp Noun

    in mythology, evil or mischievous spirit.

    island Noun

    body of land surrounded by water.

    Encyclopedic Entry: island
    isolate Verb

    to set one thing or organism apart from others.

    lighthouse Noun

    structure displaying large, bright lights to warn and help ships navigate coastal waters.

    novel Noun

    fictional narrative or story.

    outwit Verb

    to get the better of someone by using intelligence and quick thinking.

    perch Verb

    to sit or rest on a tree branch or other elevated position.

    pirate Noun

    thief who steals from ships or ships' crews while at sea.

    region Noun

    any area on Earth with one or more common characteristics. Regions are the basic units of geography.

    Encyclopedic Entry: region
    slavery Noun

    process and condition of owning another human being or being owned by another human being.

    treasure Noun

    wealth, riches, and other valuable materials.

    tropical Adjective

    existing in the tropics, the latitudes between the Tropic of Cancer in the north and the Tropic of Capricorn in the south.

    villain Noun

    antagonist or evil character in a story.