Hi Mairiuna! I have to tell you I had much pleasure reading your article about Robert Louis Stevenson, one of our favourite Scottish writers.
Furthermore, it was great to see such a nice variety of beautiful book covers from the many different editions. As we are both on the lookout for new additions to our RLS bookshelf, we will be shortly be out of space to store them all!
You can imagine, after reading your post, that my passion for topical stamp collecting got me thinking about worldwide postage stamps featuring Robert Louis Stevenson and more specifically, from Samoa itself, where he lived towards the end of his life, with his wife Fanny, inside their dream house near the sea.
I remembered Steve Trussel’s superb webpage featuring Robert Louis Stevenson on postage stamps, banknotes and other collectibles.
Took me two seconds, thanks to Google, to locate his site and there you go… the Samoan stamps were there! I selected some to include below:
Robert Louis Stevenson on Samoa Postage Stamps
In 1935, his house and tomb were commemorated by Western Samoa. Stevenson called his house “Vailima” which means in the local language ” five streams “. There might not be that many streams in the island, but apparently, Stevenson liked the word.
Here above, we can see the characters of the most popular novels and the inscription “Tusitala” :
- Long John Silver (Treasure Island)
-Balfour & Stewart (Kidnapped)
- Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde (Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde)
-Archie Weir and Christiana Elliott (Weir of Hermiston)
November 13, 1850 – December 3, 1894
From the moment he boarded the Equator sailing ship to his last day, only four years passed by…
Equator, two-masted schooner, was built in Benicia in 1888 and operated as South Seas trader and mail boat by Wightman Brothers, San Francisco. The Equator and the British battleship Calliope were the only ships within a radius of 200 miles of Apia to ride out the great Samoan hurricane of March, 1889. Later she was chartered by Robert Louis Stevenson, the novelist, for a South Seas cruise and in her cabin he heard the yarn that gave him the nucleus for the plot of The Wreckers.
When World War I broke out in 1914 the German controlled islands of Samoa were occupied by allied forces and the islands passed to the administrative control of New Zealand. On August 29, 1939 a set of stamps was issued to commemorate the 25th anniversary of New Zealand’s control of the islands. Western Samoa became independent in 1962. Among the set, one stamp pictured Robert Louis Stevenson, as shown above.
A good book on your shelf is a friend
that turns its back on you and remains a friend.
Hope you enjoy!