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Book Review: Robert Louis Stevenson in Samoa - Joseph Farrell

Updated: Mar 11, 2023

"There was something in Stevenson of what was later defined as the nomadic Scot, a person with a vision rooted in his homeland but keen to move towards ever more distant, dream-like horizons." - Kenneth White, The Wanderer, and His Charts, Edinburgh, Polygon Books, 2004.

Robert Louis Stevenson in Samoa - Joseph Farrell

Title: Robert Louis Stevenson in Samoa

Author: Joseph Farrell

ISBN: 9780857059956

Available in Hardback, Paperback, and also e-book

I have been inspired by both the Stevenson family (lighthouses) and Robert Louis Stevenson with his stories. Living in Edinburgh being drawn to find out more about the "nomadic Scot" which I can relate to on so many levels.

Almost every adult and child is familiar with his Treasure Island, but fewer know that Robert Louis Stevenson lived out his last years on a similarly remote island.

In 1890 Stevenson settled in Upolu, an island in the Samoan archipelago, after two years of sailing around the South Pacific. He was given the name Tusitala - Teller of Tales.

Joseph Farrell's pioneering account is filled with descriptive biographical studies giving weight to Samoa and the Samoans - their culture, their manners, their history - as to the way of life and work of Stevenson himself. The book brings to life the full complexity of Samoa and the political situation that Stevenson and his family embraced and made a long-lasting and generous contribution to its cause can be greatly appreciated.

It was interesting to discover more about Robert Louis Stevenson and how he made comparisons between life on Samoa and historic events that had taken place in Scotland.

A gripping and fascinating read from start to finish with a historical photographic account.

I would love to hear from you. Please email any questions/comments to:

The book is now available via Waterstones.

Happy Travels:) x

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