The real life adventures of author Robert Louis Stevenson rival those of his famous fictional characters. Born into a strictly religious, middle-class Edinburgh family, he later rebelled and refused to follow his father into the lighthouse construction business, opting instead for a literary career and marriage to Fanny, the love of his life and a crack-shot American divorcee. His travels took him to France, America and the South Pacific. Stevenson was an atheist and free spirit - in Samoa, where he died - and he fought in a civil war for independence. In 1886, the blockbuster novel Kidnapped was published - a dramatic adventure of abduction and life on the run in the wilds of Scotland. Stevenson died in 1894, just 44 years old. The Samoan natives, who were devoted to Stevenson, cut a track through the jungle to create a resting place for him on top of the mountain above his beloved Vailima estate.
SARAH WIMPERIS began painting at a very early age as a result of family influences and an inability to spell. She studied fine art at Falmouth School of Art, exhibited with the Portal Gallery, then travelled the world, including China, Russia, Israel and Norway, painting all the way. She returned to Cornwall, raised a lot of children, painted murals for a while, then became a professional illustrator. Since 2008 she has exhibited regularly at the Beside the Wave Gallery in Falmouth, which she now manages.
TONY EVANS started his career as a high school English teacher, and has a Masters Degree in Literary Research from Lancaster University. After working as a Deputy Headteacher in Bristol he became a school inspector and educational consultant, based in Leeds. He is now a full-time writer and lives with his wife in the Yorkshire Dales. Tony has a particular interest in Victorian literature and culture. His publications include a collection of detective stories set in late nineteenth century England, as well as co-authorship of a book on steam locomotives and several books in the Real Reads series of re-told classics.