Born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1850, the writer Robert Louis Stevenson had a Western U.S. connection. A pivotal and influential part of his life took place in California from 1879 to 1880. His childhood in Scotland was influenced by a well-to-do engineer father who followed the family profession of building lighthouses. Frequent moves, sometimes to damp, unhealthy places, caused the young Stevenson to develop coughs and fevers. He remained a frail youth and missed a lot of school. His father hired a series of tutors to teach him at home, and this allowed time to entertain himself. Consequently, he began writing stories at an early age.
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