Friday, November 14, 2008

Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson nearly died in Carmel Valley in 1879, but maybe, in a funny way, the incident was the best thing to ever happen to him. While here on a visit, the 28-year-old Scottish author set off alone on a horse, but he collapsed miles from anywhere, surviving for three days by drinking coffee. He barely pulled through. (He was weakened by lifelong tuberculosis.) Stevenson subsequently wrote several classics including "Treasure Island" and "Kidnapped." Could it be that his creative juices were somehow jarred loose by his close encounter with death? (Incidentally, "Treasure Island" contains passages probably inspired by Point Lobos.)
(Portrait by Girolamo Nerli, 1892)

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