The featured Google Doodle today celebrates the 160th birthday of Robert Louis Stevenson. Stevenson who was born on November 13, 1850 is a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist and travel writer. He was widely known for his books which includes Treasure Island, Kidnapped and the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. All of these three books had been translated for television and for movies, most famous was that of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Stevenson had many contributions in literature and in travel. He had been close to various politicians as well but if there were a people which have loved him the most it will be the Samoans. He first came to Samoan islands when he purchased four hundred acres (about 1.6 square kilometres) of land in Upolu.
As a Samoan he established himself, after much work, upon his estate in the village of Vailima. Stevenson himself adopted the native name Tusitala (Samoan for “Teller of Tales”, i.e. a storyteller). His influence spread to the Samoans, who consulted him for advice, and he soon became involved in local politics. One of Stevenson’s concern in Samoa is the incompetence of European officials appointed to rule the Samoans. This concerns were published in “A Footnote to History”.
Robert Louis Stevenson died on December 3, 1894 possibly of cerenral hemorrhage. He was buried by the Samoans on a spot overlooking the sea. During his funeral, a watch-guard was placed during the night and his coffin was carried on their shoulders to Mount Vaea. On his tomb his ‘Requiem’ was inscribed.
Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.
Indeed it is but fitting that today’s Google Doodle celebrates the birth of a man which did not only contributed to literature but also showed everyone the value of friendship and of making a difference for others.
Happy Birthday Robert Louis Stevenson.