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Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Lewis Balfour Stevenson he would later change the Lewis to Louis was born in Edinburgh on 13 November 1850 His father called Thomas belonged to a family of engineers who had built many of the deep-sea lighthouses around Scotland His mother was called Margret Isabella Balfour came from a family of church ministers and lawyers In 1857 the family moved to 17 Heriot Row a solid respectable house in Edinburgh At seventeen he enrolled at Edinburgh University to study engineering with the aim of following his father in the family firm However he abandoned engineering and made the compromise of studying law He passed advocate in 1875 but he knew he wanted to be a writer His first published work was an essay called Roads and his first published volumes were works of travel writing In the universitys summer vacations he travelled to France to be in the company of other young artists both writers and painters and from this he published An inland voyage 1877 and Travels with a donkey in the Cevennes 1879 His meeting with his future wife Fanny was at a riverside village south-east of Paris he was twenty-five and she was thirty-six separated from her husband and with two children Two years later she decided to obtain a divorce and Stevenson set out for California from which he wrote his book The Amateur Emigrant 1879 In 1882 he published New Arabian Nights In 1883 he published Treasure Island while on holiday with his family which was his turning point as a writer In the Christmas of 1885 another horror story Olalla was published In 1886 he published the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde this was extremely popular and established him as a respected author In 1888 the stage version of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was started being played on the London stage but it is withdrawn because of the Whitechapel Murders
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