The choice of a profession
The amateur emigrant
A chapter on dreams
In the South Seas
An island landfall
Browse early editions
A child's garden
Stevenson was born into a prosperous Edinburgh professional family, and christened Robert Lewis Balfour after his two grandfathers. He was an only child — 'intelligent and sickly' — and he later recalled:
'I have three powerful impressions of childhood: my sufferings when I was sick, my delights in convalescence at my grandfather's manse of Colinton, near Edinburgh, and the unnatural activity of my mind after I was in bed at night.'
His devoted nurse, Alison Cunningham — 'Cummy' — fed his imagination with stories from the Bible and Scottish history:
'Scottish child hears much of shipwreck, outlying iron skerries, pitiless breakers, and great sealights; much of heathery mountains, wild clans, and hunted Covenanters.'
Source of inspiration