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Skerryvore Cottage - Home of Robert Louis Stevenson

Skerryvore Cottage - Home of Robert Louis Stevenson Biographies Famous People Geography Fiction Victorian Age Nineteenth Century Life

When Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, he was living at Skerryvore Cottage in Bournemouth, England. This image depicts Skerryvore Cottage.

This illustration, depicting Skerryvore, is from The Life of Robert Louis Stevenson for Boys and Girls, by Jacqueline M. Overton (who also provides information about Skerryvore and Stevenson’s work there):

In the spring of 1885 Thomas Stevenson [the author’s father] purchased a house at Bournemouth, England ... as a present for his daughter-in-law [Fanny Osborne].

They named the cottage “Skerryvore,” after the famous lighthouse he had helped to build in his young days, and it was their home for the next three years—busy ones for R.L.S.

One of Stevenson’s projects, at Skerryvore, came to him in a dream. Overton recounts the events in Chapter VI:

Stevenson had often said the “brownies” in his dreams gave him ideas for his tales. At Skerryvore they came to him with a story that among all his others is counted the greatest.

“In the small hours one morning,” says his wife, “I was awakened by cries of horror from Louis. Thinking he had a nightmare I awakened him. He said angrily, ‘Why did you wake me? I was dreaming a fine bogey tale.’”

The dream was so vivid that he could not rest until he had written off the story, and it so possessed him that the first draft was finished within three days. It was called “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

This story instantly created much discussion. Articles were written about it, sermons were preached on it, and letters poured in from all sorts of people with their theories about the strange tale.

Six months after it was published nearly forty thousand copies were sold in England alone; but its greatest success was in America where its popularity was immediate and its sale enormous.

Click on the image of Skerryvore for a better view.


Media Credits

Image from "The Life of Robert Louis Stevenson for Boys and Girls," by Jacqueline M. Overton published in New York, during 1933, by Charles Scribner's Sons. Online via Project Gutenberg.

 

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