Biographical Summary

painting and statue

Robert Lewis (nee) Stevenson came into the world in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was the only child of Margaret Balfour and Thomas Stevenson, an upper middle-class family that was well-respected in Scottish circles. Thomas, from a family of engineers whose contributions to the major light house network along the Scotland coast of the North Sea are well documented. Margaret was the daughter of a highly respected minister and was raised with Calvinistic values. Together, they tried their best to pass their fundamentalist upbringings to their son.Read More



Tusitala came to Samoa by design, but not until he had become the most widely travelled foreigner to visit the South Pacific area. An adventurer at heart with a strong affinity for the sea, he convinced Fanny to join him in a life-changing search for better health. Together, they had subjected him to cold, damp, snowy climates. The time was right for them to try the tropics. They secured a sea-worthy vessel, gathered their supplies and departed for the first of many side trips toRead More

Historical Photos

Robert Louis Stevenson Portrait

From imagination to action

tusitala portrait

The idea of the Pacific was first put into Robert Louis Stevenson’s mind when he was in his twenties. A semi-invalid with suspected tuberculosis, he was drifting through his law studies at Edinburgh University while still living at home with his parents. In an 1890 letter, he recalled the visit of a distinguished and apparently self-assured New Zealander: In ’74 or ’75 there came to stay with my father and mother a certain Mr. Seed (Hon J. Seed), a prime minister or something of NewRead More