Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), novelist and poet, was descended from a famous Scottish engineering family. His grandfather Robert, his father Thomas, two uncles and a cousin were all noted engineers, particularly known for their lighthouses. This family history, focusing particularly on his grandfather, was written while R. L. Stevenson was living in Samoa, and was published posthumously in 1912. It first outlines the history of the name 'Stevenson' from the thirteenth century. Chapter 1 begins in the mid-eighteenth century, and records Robert Stevenson's birth in 1772, and his father's death. The young Robert worked with his stepfather for the Northern Lighthouse Board and was its sole Engineer from 1808 to 1843. Chapter 2 describes his experiences in that role. Chapter 3 reproduces substantial extracts from Robert's own diary of the construction (1807-1811) of his most famous structure, the Bell Rock lighthouse off Arbroath, which revolutionised lighthouse design.
Publisher: Cambridge Library Collection