Robert Louis Stevenson

The American artist Will Hickok Low was one of Robert Louis Stevenson’s friends when RLS was in France in the mid-late 1870s.  Top:  self portrait of Low; Middle:  illustration Low did for the cover of McClure’s magazine; Bottom:  Low at work in his studio in Bronxville in 1897.

Frontispiece by the original 1879 edition of Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes, showing Stevenson and his companion Modestine.  The artist was Walter Crane. 

Frontispiece by the original 1879 edition of Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes, showing Stevenson and his companion Modestine.  The artist was Walter Crane. 

Two views of Le Monastier-sur-Gazeille, where Stevenson began his “Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes” in 1878.

Muckle Flugga Lighthouse (originally called North Unst) in Shetland, Scotland.  It was built by Robert Louis Stevenson’s father Thomas Stevenson and his uncle David Stevenson in 1854.  Muckle Flugga is the most notherly rock in the British Isles. RLS visited North Unst with his father on 18 June 1869.

John Singer Sargent’s “Robert Louis Stevenson and His Wife” (1885). 
Sargent told Henry James that Stevenson “seemed to me the most intense creature I had ever met.”  Sargent was 29, Stevenson was 34.   
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Art by N.C Wyeth (1924) from Robert Louis Stevenson’s DAVID BALFOUR.

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Art by N.C Wyeth (1924) from Robert Louis Stevenson’s DAVID BALFOUR.

Stevenson on Edinburgh Castle and Old Town:  “Thus, the quarter of the Castle overtops the whole city and keeps an open view to sea and land. It dominates for miles on every side; and people on the decks of ships, or ploughing in quiet country places over in Fife, can see the banner on the Castle battlements, and the smoke of the Old Town blowing abroad over the subjacent country. A city that is set upon a hill.”
From “Edinburgh Castle” by Robert Louis Stevenson. Romantic Castles and Palaces, As Seen and Described by Famous Writers, edited and translated by Esther Singleton; New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1901; pp. 295-299.

Stevenson on Edinburgh Castle and Old Town:  “Thus, the quarter of the Castle overtops the whole city and keeps an open view to sea and land. It dominates for miles on every side; and people on the decks of ships, or ploughing in quiet country places over in Fife, can see the banner on the Castle battlements, and the smoke of the Old Town blowing abroad over the subjacent country. A city that is set upon a hill.”

From “Edinburgh Castle” by Robert Louis Stevenson. Romantic Castles and Palaces, As Seen and Described by Famous Writers, edited and translated by Esther Singleton; New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1901; pp. 295-299.

Fanny Stevenson (RLS’s wife).  Probably the most frequently reprinted image of her.

Fanny Stevenson (RLS’s wife).  Probably the most frequently reprinted image of her.

Isle of May Lighthouse. This is another one built by Robert Louis Stevenson’s grandfather, Robert Stevenson. It was completed in 1816 and could house three lighthouse keepers and their families. 
Leon Delachaux painting (1885) “Le pont de Grez” and (below) Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem about the same bridge. Stevenson met his future wife Fanny at Grez-sur-Loing.
KNOW you the river near to Grez, A river deep and clear? Among the lilies all the way, That ancient river runs to-day From snowy weir to weir. Old as the Rhine of great renown, She hurries clear and fast, She runs amain by field and town From south to north, from up to down, To present on from past. The love I hold was borne by her; And now, though far away, My lonely spirit hears the stir Of water round the starling spur Beside the bridge at Grez. So may that love forever hold In life an equal pace; So may that love grow never old, But, clear and pure and fountain-cold, Go on from grace to grace.

Leon Delachaux painting (1885) “Le pont de Grez”
and (below) Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem about the same bridge. Stevenson met his future wife Fanny at Grez-sur-Loing.

KNOW you the river near to Grez,
A river deep and clear?
Among the lilies all the way,
That ancient river runs to-day
From snowy weir to weir.

Old as the Rhine of great renown,
She hurries clear and fast,
She runs amain by field and town
From south to north, from up to down,
To present on from past.

The love I hold was borne by her;
And now, though far away,
My lonely spirit hears the stir
Of water round the starling spur
Beside the bridge at Grez.

So may that love forever hold
In life an equal pace;
So may that love grow never old,
But, clear and pure and fountain-cold,
Go on from grace to grace.