Robert Louis Stevenson, fully Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson

Robert Louis
Stevenson, fully Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson

Scottish Novelist, Poet, Essayist and Travel Writer, known books include Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Author Quotes

The mark of a good action is that it appears inevitable in retrospect.

The most influential books and the truest in their influence, are works of fiction. - They repeat, rearrange, and clarify the lessons of life, disengage us from ourselves, constrain us to the acquaintance of others, and show us the web of experience, but with a single change. - That monstrous, consuming ego of ours struck out.

The most racking pangs succeeded: a grinding in the bones, deadly nausea, and a horror of the spirit that cannot be exceeded at the hour of birth or death. Then these agonies began swiftly to subside, and I came to myself as if out of a great sickness. There was something strange in my sensations, something indescribably sweet. I felt younger, lighter, happier in body; within I was conscious of a heady recklessness, a current of disordered sensual images running like a millrace in my fancy, a solution of the bonds of obligation, an unknown but innocent freedom of the soul. I knew myself, at the first breath of this new life, to be more wicked, tenfold more wicked, sold a slave to my original evil and the thought, in that moment, braced and delighted me like wine.

The last I think; for, O poor old Harry Jekyll, if ever I read Satan's signature upon a face, it is on that of your new friend.

The less I understood of this farrago, the less I was in a position to judge of its importance.

The friendly cow all red and white, I love with all my heart: She gives me cream with all her might, To eat with apple-tart.

The full truth of this odd matter is what the world has long been looking for and the public curiosity is sure to welcome.

The gauger walked with willing foot, and aye the gauger played the flute; and what should Master Gauger play but "Over the Hills and Far Away".

The HISPANIOLA still lay where she had anchored; but, sure enough, there was the Jolly Roger--the black flag of piracy--flying from her peak.

The horror with which blind and unjust law regards an action never attaches to the doer in the eyes of those who love him.

The humiliation of their arms and the loss of Alsace and Lorraine made a sore pull on the endurance of this sensitive people; and their hearts are still hot, not so much against Germany as against the Empire.

The day returns and brings us the petty round of irritating concerns and duties. Help us to play the man, help us to perform them with laughter and kind faces; let cheerfulness abound with industry. Give us to go blithely on our business all this day, bring us to our resting beds weary and content and undishonored, and grant us in the end the gift of sleep.

The devil, depend upon it, can sometimes do a very gentlemanly thing.

The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean; not to affect your reader, but to affect him precisely as you wish.

The dismal quarter of Soho seen under these changing glimpses, with its muddy ways, and slatternly passengers, and its lamps, which had never been extinguished or had been kindled afresh to combat this mournful re-invasion of darkness, seemed, in the lawyer's eyes, like a district of some city in a nightmare. (The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde)

The door, indeed, stood open as before; but the windows were still shuttered, the chimneys breathed no stain into the bright air, there sounded abroad none of that low stir (perhaps audible rather to the ear of the spirit than to the ear of the flesh) by which a house announces and betrays its human lodgers.

The drum, at any rate, from its martial voice and notable physiological effect, nay, even from its cumbrous and comical shape, stands alone among the instruments of noise.

The essence of love is kindness.

The eternal altars tilt and tumble,

The existence of a man is so small a thing to take, so mighty a thing to employ.

The Flowers - All the names I know from nurse: gardener's garters, Shepherd's purse, bachelor's buttons, Lady's smock, and the Lady Hollyhock. Fairy places, fairy things, fairy woods where the wild bee wings, tiny trees for tiny dames--these must all be fairy names! Tiny woods below whose boughs shady fairies weave a house; tiny tree-tops, rose or thyme, where the braver fairies climb! Fair are grown-up people's trees, but the fairest woods are these; where, if I were not so tall, I should live for good and all.

That a man is successful who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much, who has gained the respect of the intelligent men and the love of children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty or failed to express it; who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.

That insurgent horror was knit to him closer than a wife, closer than an eye lay caged in his flesh, where he heard it mutter and felt it struggle to be born; and at every hour of weakness, and in the confidence of slumber, prevailed against him, and deposed him out of life.

That is the bitterness of art: you see a good effect, and some nonsense about sense continually intervenes.

That man is a success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much.

Author Picture
First Name
Robert Louis
Last Name
Stevenson, fully Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson
Birth Date
Death Date

Scottish Novelist, Poet, Essayist and Travel Writer, known books include Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde