Friday, 13 November 2009

On this day...

Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish author, was born in 1850. Even though Stevenson only learnt to read at the age of 8, his childhood was spent always writing stories, an occupation his father used to have at the same age. His father even paid for the publication of Stevenson's first novel, 'The Pentland Rising: A Page of History, 1666', written when he was 16; yet afterward, Stevenson was expected to forget writing and take on the family trade of lighthouse keeping. Failure to do so, resulted in his alienation from his family, yet produced the quality of his literature that survives today. His two most famous works are 'Treasure Island' and 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde', both widely read today. However, his poluarity had waned in the 20th century; condemned by Virginia Woolf and unamed in the 'Norton Anthology of English Literature' until 2006, Stevenson remained an 'inferior writer' for some years. He died in 1894, and is now the 25th most translated author in the world, ahead of both Wilde and Dickens.

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