Robert Louis Stevenson Biography

Robert Louis Stevenson, who was born in Edinburgh in 1850, was one of the most widely-read adventure novelists of the late 1800s. Among his most popular books were KidnappedThe Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and Treasure Island, featuring the world’s most famous pirate Long John Silver. Stevenson also published a much-loved book of poems, A Child’s Garden of Verse. He suffered from tuberculosis for much of his life, and spent many years travelling in search of a climate that would help him feel better. He finally settled in Samoa in the South Pacific, where he died in 1894.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is best-known for its vivid portrayal of a split personality, split in the sense that within the same person there is both an apparently good and an evil personality, each being quite distinct from the other. The book’s impact was such that the phrase ‘a Jekyll and Hyde personality’ has become a part of the language.