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Edinburgh is the Capital City of Scotland and has recently been named the world's first City of Literature by the United Nations' cultural body UNESCO.
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Robert Louis Stevenson:
Robert Louis Stevenson(1850-94). Born in the New Town of Edinburgh, the son of the well-to-do lighthouse engineer Thomas Stevenson, he was a sickly child forced by illness to play in his sickroom, with soldiers and model theatres. This encouraged his talents towards describing dramatic incidents and story-telling. From the window of his home at 17 Heriot Row he watched other children playing in Queens Street Gardens, where he could see a small ornamental pool with a tiny island in the centre.
One day he observed boys burying a box on the island; that box became treasure, the boys pirates, and the island a palm-treed place of mystery which was to evolve as Treasure Island (1882), one of the world's most popular and translated books.
After education at Edinburgh University, he demurred at a career of lighthouse engineering but, to please his father, he compromised with law studies. His overwhelming ambition was to be a full-time writer and he produced a wide range of essays. His health caused him to have to travel abroad and after a canoe trip on the Continent with his friend Sir Walter Simpson in 1876 he produced his first book, An Inland Voyage (1878). A second travel book appeared in 1879 under the title of Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes, on a trip in that region, and the same year he left for America.
He married the divorcee Fanny Osbourne in America and on his return to the UK embarked on a prolific life of letters which produced such works as Kidnapped (1886), and The Master of Ballantrae (1889). His unfinished Weir of Hermiston has been declared a masterpiece. In 1889 he settled in Samoa for health reasons and died there at his estate of Valima.
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