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Lloyd Osbourne (1868-1947)

Born in San Francisco, California on April 7, 1868, Samuel Lloyd Osbourne was the first son of Fanny and Samuel Osbourne and spent his youth growing up in Oakland. At the age of seven, Sammy (as he was then known) and his traveled to Europe with his mother, sister, and younger brother, eventually settling in Paris. After the death of his younger brother, Hervey, in  1876 the family moved to Grez-sur-Loing where they met Robert Louis Stevenson (whom he nicknamed “Luly”). 

Lloyd Osbourne

In France, Sammy attended boarding school while his mother and sister studies painting. Upon returning to California, he was sent to boarding school in Sonoma. It was from there he joined his mother and stepfather, Robert Louis Stevenson, in Calistoga to celebrate their marriage in 1880. 

After the honeymoon, the family of three moved to Europe. Over the next few years Lloyd (as he was known ever after) attended British boarding school before entering the University of Edinburgh. After the death of Thomas Stevenson, Lloyd accompanied the family to New York, California, and on to the South Seas. 

When it was determined that Stevenson would not survive a return trip to Scotland, Lloyd was sent off on the mission to sell the family’s belongings from the Bournemouth home and bring what was desired to the new home in Samoa. Lloyd lived and worked on the family plantation for the rest of Louis’ life. Throughout their time in the South Seas, Louis and Lloyd often collaborated on story ideas and three of Stevenson’s pieces from that time share authorship with Lloyd.  

After Louis’ death, Lloyd became Vice Consul General for the United States to Samoa and married Katharine Durham in Hawaii in 1896. Together they had two sons, Alan and Louis. 

The rest of Lloyd’s life was spent as an author, actively published but never achieving much acclaim. His mother, who never cared much for his wife Katharine, made Lloyd executor of her will, but left most of her property to Belle, giving a generous allowance to Lloyd but only $5t o Katharine. Shortly after Fanny’s death, Lloyd and Katharine divorced. They briefly remarried again in 1916 only to divorce again. 

The final decades of Lloyd’s life were spent writing and collaborating with his playwright nephew, Austin Strong, and living in Europe. In 1936 he traveled to the South of France where he became involved with a young French woman, Yvonne Payerne, who bore him a son named Samuel. When World War II began, Lloyd returned to California where he died in 1947 on the same day Yvonne and Samuel arrived in New York to join him.

Writing

  • The Queen Versus Billy and Other Stories (1900)
  • Forty Years Between (March 1903)
  • Love, the Fiddler (1903)
  • The Fugitives of Pleasure (February 1904)
  • Baby Bullet: The Motor of Destiny (1905)
  • The Motormaniacs (1905)
  • Wild Justice (1906) 
  • Tree Species Forward (1906) 
  • Wild Waters (1906)
  • The Tin Diskers: The Story of an Invasion that all but Failed  (1906)
  • The Under-World: An Original Melodrama in Four Acts (1907)
  • The Adventurer (1907)
  • Schmidt (1907)
  • Don Patrick: An Original Romantic Drama in Four Acts (1907)
  • Infatuation (1909)
  • Harm’s Way (1909)
  • A Person of Some Importance (1911)
  • The Kingdoms of the World (1911)
  • Wild Justice: Stories of the South Seas (1921)
  • An Intimate Portrait of RLS by His Stepson (1924)
  • The Grierson Mystery (1928)
  • Not to be Opened (1928)

With Robert Louis Stevenson 

  • The Wrong Box (1889)
  • The Wrecker (1892)
  • The Ebb-Tide (1894)

With Isobel Strong 

  • Memories of Vailima (1902)

With Austin Strong 

  • The Little Father of the Wilderness; A Play in One Act (1924)
  • The Drums of Oude (1946)
  • Some Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, Compiled by Lloyd Osbourne (1917)
  • Samoa Under the Sailing Gods (1930), N.A. Rowe
  • South Sea Island Story, Cosmopolitan Magazine, NY, July 1899
  •  How the Battle was Lost, Scribner’s Magazine, 1893 
  • Letter to Mr. Stevenson’s Friends, pamphlet 1894
  • Mr. Stevenson’s Home Life at Vailima, Scribner’s Magazine Vol. XVIII, No. 4, NY October 1895
  • Stevenson at Play, Scribner’s Magazine, Vol. XXIV, No. 6, NY December 1898

Address

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

Reach Out

T 707.963.3757
F 707.963.0917

info@stevensonmuseum.org

Hours

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