Robert Louis Stevenson Collections

This collection at the Writers’ Museum evokes the adventurous life of one of Scotland’s best-loved writers. It includes portraits and photographs, personal possessions and books, as well as treasures from Stevenson’s travels.

Some of Robert Louis Stevenson’s (1850-1894) best-loved novels include Treasure Island and The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde. His adventurous life provided inspiration for his travel writing and other works.

Visitors to the Writers’ Museum can step into Robert Louis Stevenson’s world. On display is an original copy of The Pentland Rising, Stevenson’s earliest work, a first edition of the well-loved classic A Child’s Garden of Verses, and an original illustration for Kidnapped by the artist William Boucher. Other treasures include a segment of a journal written by Stevenson on a journey through Orkney and Shetland on board the lightship ‘Pharos’ in 1869.

Personal possessions include Stevenson’s fishing rod and basket. The writer’s Samoan adventure is explored through beautiful objects made by local people. A ring made from tortoiseshell and silver, inscribed ‘Tusitala’ (meaning teller of tales), was given to Stevenson by a Samoan chief; he was wearing this ring when he had his fatal collapse at the age of 44.

The Robert Louis Stevenson collection contains a wide range of photographs, printed works and other material.

About Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh in 1850. He travelled widely in Europe and visited North America, Australia and New Zealand. In 1890, Stevenson and his family moved to the Samoan island of Upolu. He continued to write, and made many friends among the local people, whose rights he lobbied for. Stevenson suffered from ill health for much of his life, and died in Samoa at the age of 44. 

 See images relating to the life of RLS on Capital Collections.