The Robert Louis Stevenson Monument
Author Robert Louis Stevenson, author of classics such as "Treasure Island" and "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," lived in San Francisco for a short period of time between 1879-1880. While there, he struggled with his writing career and eventually fell severely ill. After his recovery, he married and soon departed for Napa. However, in remembrance of the author's time in San Francisco, a monument to him was erected on Kearney St. in 1897.
Backstory and Context
"To be honest, to be kind - to earn a little, to spend a little less - to make upon the whole a family happier for his presence - to renounce when that shall be necessary, and not be embittered - to keep a few friends but these without capitulation - above all on the same grim condition to keep friends with himself - here is a task for all that a man has of fortitude and delicacy."During his time in San Francisco between December 1879 and March 1890, Stevenson lived near what is today Portsmouth Plaza at 608 Bush Street. His time in San Francisco was not particularly fruitful, or pleasant, as he arrived from Monterey California following his partial recovery from a critical illness, only to find that he would be forced to live on less than $0.40 a day as he struggled to begin his writing career. Subsequently, he once again became critically ill and was eventually nursed back to health by his soon-to-be wife, Fanny Van de Grift. Upon his recovery, the two soon married and departed to Napa.2
Today, the monument is a popular site for literary tourists.3
1San Francisco Points of Interest: To Remember Robert Louis Stevenson. NoeHill in San Francisco. . Accessed October 01, 2018.
Letter to Sidney Colvin, January 1880, The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume 1, Chapter IV.
3Robert Louis Stevenson in San Francisco. RobertLouisStevenson.org. . Accessed September 22, 2018. http://robert-louis-stevenson.org/california/.