In his classic stories for adults and children, Robert Louis Stevenson made the ordinary extraordinary with tales of pirates, monsters and searching for treasure. If you’ve not read any of his work, here is a brief introduction into one of the biggest literary figures of the nineteenth century.

Best known for his iconic, and now classic works of fiction, Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson was born in November 1850 in an Edinburgh in the midst of the Industrial Revolution. Heralding from a family of lighthouse designers, Stevenson chose at a young age to turn his back on the family profession, a decision which inspired some of his poetry.

After attending multiple schools and employing the services of numerous private tutors, Stevenson’s family encouraged him to study law at Edinburgh University to add some stability to his otherwise increasingly bohemian existence. Although his study of law never led him to practise, the influence of his years training for the Scottish Bar can be seen throughout his writing.

If you’re a fan of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes mysteries or Rudyard Kipling’s fantastical tales, Stevenson is sure to become a firm favourite.