Stevenson's great adventure story, set in the 18th century, was conceived in the Scottish Highlands, where the author and his 12-year-old stepson amused themselves by making a map that showed the location of buried treasure on an island. The illustrations first appeared in 1949.
Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh in 1850. Chronically ill with bronchitis and possibly tuberculosis, Stevenson withdrew from Engineering at Edinburgh University in favour of Studying Law. Although he passed the bar and became an advocate in 1875, he knew that his true work was as a writer. Between 1876 and his death in 1894, Stevenson wrote prolifically. His published essays, short stories, fiction, travel books, plays, letters and poetry number in dozens. The most famous of his works include Travels With A Donkey in the Cevennes (1879), New Arabian Nights (1882), Treasure Island (1883), The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1887), Thrawn Janet (1887) and Kidnapped (1893). After marrying Fanny Osbourne in 1880 Stevenson continued to travel and to write about his experiences. His poor health led him and his family to Valima in Samoa, where they settled. During his days there Stevenson was known as `Tusitala' or `The Story Teller'. His love of telling romantic and adventure stories allowed him to connect easily with the universal child in all of us. `Fiction is to grown men what play is to the child,' he said. Robert Louis Stevenson died in Valima in 1894 of a brain haemorrhage.