Robert Louis Stevenson died in Samoa on this day in 1894. The Scottish novelist, poet and traveller Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was born in Edinburgh in 1850. After considering professions in law and engineering, he pursued his interest in writing. A prolific literary career ensued, which included ‘Treasure Island’ (1883), ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ (1886) and ‘Kidnapped’ (1886). Stevenson travelled extensively to America and the South Seas, settling in Samoa in 1890, and getting involved in life and politics there. In the tropical climate, his imagination turned to Edinburgh, and he wrote ‘Catriona'(1893), a sequel to ‘Kidnapped’. At his death he left an unfinished masterpiece ‘Weir of Hermiston’, set in 19th-century Edinburgh and the Lammermuirs.Scot Clans
Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.
Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.
Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.
When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.
Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding-cake.