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FAQs: Biographies

Want to learn more about Robert Louis Stevenson’s life?
The most highly recommended Robert Louis Stevenson biography currently in publication is:

“Myself and the Other Fellow: A Life of Robert Louis Stevenson” by Claire Harmann, 2005

Want to get to know what Robert Louis Stevenson was really like as a person?
If you’d like a more in-depth look at the real Stevenson, we recommend reading his letters. They were collected in an eight volume set in 1995 by editors Bradford A. Booth and Ernest Mehew. But if you’d prefer a smaller selection of the most insightful letters, Mehew also created a fine volume of “Selected Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson” which is just one book.

Curious about Robert Louis Stevenson’s wife, Fanny?
There have been a handful of books written about Fanny over the years. Here is a selection:


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


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

Or, you could try one of the books which contain some of Fanny’s travel diaries:

“The Cruise of the Janet Nichol” by 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

Want a complete chronological list of all 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.

Chronological Listing of RLS Biographies


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