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FAQ: Biographies

The Life of Robert Louis Stevenson

The most highly recommended Robert Louis Stevenson biography currently available is: 

Myself and the Other Fellow: A Life of Robert Louis Stevenson by Claire Harmann, Harper Collins Publishers, 2005. 

Review: Explore the exciting life of Robert Louis Stevenson through the words of Claire Harmann. This is a great, accessible work for anyone curious about Stevenson, his life, and his work. 


Want to get to know what RLS was like as a person?

If you’d like a more in-depth look at the real Stevenson, we recommend reading his many letters. 

The majority of his letters were collected into an 8 volume anthology in 1995 by editors Bradford A Booth and Ernest Mehew. But if you’d prefer a smaller selection of his most insightful letters, Mehew also curated a fine volume of Selected Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson.

Want to get to know Stevenson's wife, Fanny?

There have been a handful of books written about Fanny Matilda Stevenson of the years. Below are a suggested few: 


  • Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson, Nellie Van de Grift Sanchez (Fanny’s sister) 1920
  • This Life I’ve Loved, Isobel Field (Fanny’s daughter), 1937
  • The Violent Friend: The Story of Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson, Margaret Mackay, 1968


  • Fanny Stevenson, A Romance of Destiny, Alexandra Lapierre, 1995
  • Under the Wide and Starry Sky, Nancy Horan, 2014


  • The Cruise of the Janet Nichol, Fanny Stevenson 1915
  • Fanny and Robert Louis Stevenson: Our Samoan Adventure, edited by Charles Neider, 1956
  • The Cruise of the Janet Nichol ‘among the South Sea Islands, edited by Roslyn Jolly 2004

Complete List of RLS Biographies

The team of Stevenson scholars which supports the Napier University’s website about Robert Louis Stevenson, have compiled some of the most thorough lists about the author and resources to learn about him. 

Visit the Museum

The Robert Louis Stevenson Museum is open
Tuesday – Saturday from 12 to 4 PM

Give to the RSLM

The Robert Louis Stevenson Museum depends on many sources to support our mission to preserve and promote the legacy of RLS


1490 Library Lane
P.O. Box 23
St. Helena, CA 94574

Reach Out

T 707.963.3757
F 707.963.0917

[email protected]


Tuesday 12 PM – 4 PM 

Wednesday 12 PM – 4 PM 

Thursday 12 PM – 4 PM

Friday 12 PM – 4 PM

Saturday 12 PM – 4 PM