[The following passage comes from the author's Robert Louis StevensonGeorge P. Landow.]

Illuminated initial O

n the 8th of May 1887 his father, who had been in failing health, died. He went North on the 6th, but was too ill to attend the funeral. At the end of May he came South. Though he knew it not, he was to return to Lochaber no more. He was never again to see the city and the land for which he cherished so passionate an affection. In August there was another break, for with his wife and widowed mother he left London for America. He was not again to visit England. On the 7th of September the party reached New York. Crowds of reporters and callers, and invitations, and in short all the inconveniences of celebrity, awaited him. He made his home on the shore of Saranac Lake, near the Adirondack Mountains, where he wrote The Master of Ballantrae. But his health continued dubious, and it was almost an inspiration of genius that led him to charter the yacht Casco, wherein on 28th June 1888 he sailed on what was to be three wandering years in the South Seas.

Here again the question of money was of vital importance. His father's death had placed him in immediate funds, and he was paid for writing in what he thought the American lavish way. At Honolulu he finished The Master of Ballantrae.

Stevenson's Samoan home, Vailima, and the household there. [Click on these images for larger pictures.]

Finally he made his home at Apia, in Samoa. He bought land and built a house, which he called Vailima, which means the Five Waters. Above it rose the mountain Vaea. Here he did much of his best work.


Cruse, Amy. Robert Louis Stevenson. George G. Harrap, 1905 Internet Archive version of a copy in the University of Connecticut Library. Web. 9 October 2014.

Last modified 10 October 2014