Discover The Life Of R.L. Stevenson, The Ultimate Writer-Adventurer!

Published on April 3, 2024

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The sea breeze blowing our hair. The wind pushes the sails towards the sun rising on the horizon. Life as purpose, celebration, challenge, and legacy. The adventure lies ahead every day, and an inescapable villain, ruthless and tenacious, following in our footsteps.

All these qualities that build the spirit of an extraordinary literary character are embodied in one of the greatest adventure writers of all time. Robert Louis Stevenson - The Man Who Lived.


Builders of the light.

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If anyone seemed to have his destiny assured, it was Robert Stevenson. Like his grandfather, father, uncles, and cousins , the Stevenson illuminated the world: Three generations of lighthouse builders along the entire coast of Britain. Over 50 buildings since 1791, some of which are still standing, attest to their outstanding work.

And although he did not know it yet, Robert would also light up the world in his unique and marvelous way.


Bad Guy closes in.

Credit: Luke Southern

When he was a child, it became apparent that Robert Stevenson's health was too fragile to follow in the family's footsteps. Like his mother, he suffered from respiratory conditions that later developed into tuberculosis , which plagued him for the rest of his life.

Robert spent extended periods in bed, during which he was cared for by a loving but strict Calvinist nanny. She often told him macabre tales that fed his imagination , both terrifying and captivating him.


The call of Adventure.

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As a teenager, Stevenson frequently traveled along the coast of Scotland with his father, a lighthouse engineer. These experiences gave him a deep appreciation for the dramatic landscapes of northern Britain, which would later inspire some of his writing.

But his path was not in engineering, but in literature.

Chased by tuberculosis, he had to emigrate to more favorable climates. But precisely these circumstances led to his first travel books, including " An Inland Voyage" , which narrates his journey through France and Belgium, as well as a book about his adventures traveling on the back of a donkey.


The American years.

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While in France, Stevenson met Fanny Osbourne , an American woman, separated and with two children. They both fell in love, and she left for California to file a divorce. A year later he followed her, although the journey left him bankrupt and almost cost him his life. His experiences were captured in the book " The Amateur Emigrant" .

Already married, the couple settled for a time in the American West , where Stevenson wrote stories of travel, adventure, and romance along with essays and poems.


The Treasure Map.

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Back in Scotland, the end of a rainy summer forced Stevenson to shelter from the inclement weather, spending his days painting to ease boredom.

Soon, the map of an island began to shape. When it was finished, the painting, with its extremely detailed depiction of bays, beaches, and small docks, intrigued the writer: What did those names suggest? Who had been the unfortunate occupant of " Skeleton Island "?

Trying to discover its meaning, R. L. Stevenson gave rise to his first novel and one of the greatest adventure stories in universal literature - Treasure Island .


The dream of good and evil.

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Three years later, Stevenson was trying to create a story about the duality of good and evil in human beings.

One morning, Fanny heard her husband's horrified screams and woke him up from what she believed to be a nightmare. Stevenson angrily scolded her for waking him up from what he called "a sweet tale of terror."

He immediately set to work on a new manuscript, and in just three days , he completed the first version of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde .

The novel, which was a monumental success , predates by decades the studies of personality disorder that Sigmund Freud outlined in his work.


Journey through the southern seas.

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In 1888, Stevenson embarked on a long voyage traversing the South Pacific with his family to escape his persistent illness once again.

They sailed on a schooner and visited several islands, starting from the Marquesas Islands and moving on to Tahiti. From there, they went to Honolulu, where Stevenson became close friends with the king. After that, they reached the Gilbert Islands and ultimately landed in Samoa .



Credit: Alfred John Tattersall

After spending some time in Sydney, Stevenson returned to Samoa and settled there permanently with his family.

The locals were very fond of him and gave him the nickname Tusitala , which means "the storyteller" in their language. He was actively involved in defending the rights of the people of Samoa, and he even spoke out against the archipelago's domination in the British press.


The last years.

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During his years at Vailima , his residence in Samoa, Stevenson's health markedly improved .

He produced some of his greatest masterpieces: "Catriona," "Tales from the South Seas," "Bajamar" (which he co-wrote with his son), and "Saint Ives." Most notably, he embarked on his most ambitious novel, "Weir of Hermiston," which remained unfinished. In this work, he revisited the dramatic landscapes of Scotland and incorporated elements of his own story.

One night, after working on the manuscript with his son Lloyd, he was conversing with his wife when he suddenly exclaimed, "What is this? Does my face look strange?" and then collapsed .



Credit: Peter Gill / UK, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

R.L. Stevenson passed away on December 3, 1894 , aged just 44 . He left behind a monumental body of work for universal literature and the celebration of a life that persevered every day through all adversities.

At his tomb on Mount Vaea overlooking the sea, his poem Requiem guards his grave: ¨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 the sea / And the hunter home from the hill.¨


Did You Know These 12 Phrases Came from TV Shows?

Published on April 3, 2024

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Pop culture can reach us through every single type of media imaginable. And, in that regard, both the big screen and the small one are powerful generators of content that inform our daily lives.

From memorable catchphrases to poignant one-liners, some idioms have transcended their on-screen origins, embedding themselves in our everyday conversations and shaping the way we express ourselves. Whether it's a piece of advice from a beloved character or a quick retort that becomes part of the cultural lexicon, these expressions have left an indelible mark on our lives.



Credit: Hannes Johnson

While the term "spam" didn't originate in the realm of movies or television, its current meaning as unwanted mail did.

In a classic Monty Python sketch, a group of Vikings incessantly repeats the word "spam" as they sing a menu that includes processed meat, drowning out all other conversation. The repetitive and overwhelming nature of this skit amusingly mirrored the flood of unsolicited emails in early online communication. Over time, the term evolved, transcending its comedic roots and becoming synonymous with digital clutter.



Credit: Pawel Czerwinski

Aside from being the name of a gigantic tech company, "Google" has become a widely popular verb that describes the action of making a query on the search engine of the same name.

The first recorded use of the phrase on TV happened on "Buffy, The Vampire Slayer," where her friend Willow uttered the words "Have you Googled her yet?" referencing the search engine. A humble origin for a ubiquitous term.


Groundhog day

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The term "Groundhog Day" was coined from the title of the 1993 comedy-drama starring Bill Murray. The movie follows a cynical weatherman trapped in a time loop, reliving the same day over and over again.

The phrase has since transcended its cinematic origins to become a metaphor for the repetitive nature of daily life or tasks that seem endlessly redundant. The film's enduring popularity has ingrained "Groundhog Day" into the lexicon as a symbol of monotony, prompting people to humorously reference the concept whenever they find themselves caught in a seemingly endless cycle of routine.



Credit: Omid Roshan

Possibly one of the most famous onomatopoeias to ever emerge from the TV, "d'oh!" has become an iconic catchphrase synonymous with exasperation, and its origin can be traced back to the animated television series "The Simpsons."

Coined by the show's creator, Matt Groening, "d'oh!" serves as the frustrated utterance of the bumbling yet endearing character Homer Simpson. Introduced in the early seasons of the show, the exclamation quickly gained popularity for its versatility in expressing anything from mild annoyance to major blunders.



Credit: Aaron Burden

While its current meaning denotes a foolish or inept person, the origin of the word "nimrod" can be traced back to biblical sources. In the Bible, Nimrod is a figure described as a mighty hunter and a great king, but the evolution of the term took an unexpected turn.

In the mid-20th century, the term started being used sarcastically by the Looney Tunes character Bugs Bunny. The rabbit used the term ironically to mock his adversaries. Over time, the sarcasm stuck, and "nimrod" morphed into a colloquial expression for someone perceived as clueless or ineffectual.



Credit: Vladimir Fedotov

The roots of the term "gaslight" can be traced back to the 1938 play "Gas Light", which was later adapted into two films—one in the UK in 1940 and another in the US in 1944.

The plot revolves around a husband who manipulates his wife into believing she's going insane by dimming the gaslights in their home. This psychological thriller popularized the notion of subtle manipulation and psychological abuse, giving rise to the term "gaslighting."


Friend Zone

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"Friend zone" has become a ubiquitous part of modern dating discourse, and its roots can be traced back to the realm of popular culture, specifically the television sitcom "Friends".

While the phrase itself may not have originated on the show, its popularization can be attributed to the character Ross Geller, portrayed by David Schwimmer. Ross often found himself being romantically interested in female friends who saw him strictly as a friend. The notion of being relegated to the "friend zone" gained cultural traction, signifying unrequited romantic feelings within a friendship.


And that's the way it is

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The iconic sign-off "And that's the way it is" was popularized by one of the most respected figures in television news, Walter Cronkite. As the longtime anchor of the CBS Evening News, Cronkite would conclude his broadcasts with this definitive statement, emphasizing the factual nature of the news presented.

While the phrase itself did not originate in any form of scripted entertainment, its impact on language and cultural memory shows how a well-delivered line from a news anchor can become ingrained in the public consciousness.


Who are you wearing?

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The phrase "Who are you wearing?" emerged as a hallmark of red carpet interviews, and its origin is closely tied to the indomitable Joan Rivers. Coined by the comedian and television host, the question became a signature element of her coverage during award shows, marking her irreverent yet insightful approach to fashion critique.

Rivers used the question to extract not only information about the designers behind celebrities' outfits but also to inject humor and critique into the conversation. First popularized on her show "Live from the Red Carpet," the phrase quickly became a cultural touchstone, shaping the way the public engages with celebrity fashion.


Everybody lies

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The phrase "Everybody lies" comes from the medical drama "House," where the brilliant but unconventional Dr. Gregory House, played by Hugh Laurie, uttered this cynical mantra.

The phrase expresses the central theme of the show: that truth is often elusive. Dr. House, a character known for his skepticism, popularized this observation, asserting that even the most seemingly transparent individuals conceal truths. Beyond the show, "Everybody lies" has permeated popular culture, becoming a provocative reflection on human nature and the inherent complexities of honesty.


You're toast

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The phrase "You're toast" gained prominence as a line from "Ghostbusters". This ominous declaration is uttered by the character Peter Venkman, played by Bill Murray, during a confrontational scene with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

Since its cinematic debut, "You're toast" has transcended its ghostly origins to become a colloquial idiom, often used in a lighthearted manner to convey a sense of impending defeat or inevitable trouble.


Hakuna Matata

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"Hakuna Matata," a Swahili phrase meaning "no worries," was popularized by the animated movie "The Lion King". Coined in the 1994 film, Pumbaa and Timon introduced this infectious philosophy to a global audience.

The phrase defines a worry-free, laid-back attitude toward life, resonating with audiences of all ages. The cultural impact of "Hakuna Matata" extends beyond the screen, as it has become a widely recognized catchphrase, symbolizing a desire for a stress-free existence.

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