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Robert Louis Stevenson Day set for 13 November

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THE LIFE and literary works of one of Scotland’s famous sons will be celebrated in a series of events taking place next week.

Robert Louis Stevenson (RLS) Day is being held to raise the profile of the writer, who can be wrongly remembered only as a children’s author.

Events to mark Edinburgh-born writer’s legacy will be held across the city on Wednesday November 13, the date of Stevenson’s birthday.

The celebration, in its third year, is organised by Edinburgh Napier University’s Centre for Literature and Writing (Claw) and Edinburgh Unesco City of Literature.

Ali Bowden, director of Edinburgh Unesco City of Literature Trust, said: “RLS Day is our opportunity to raise a glass to one of our greatest writers and from its small beginnings in 2011, the event has grown into a city-wide celebration.”

Stevenson was born in Edinburgh’s New Town in 1850. Although he spent most of his adult life elsewhere, he remains one of the capital’s favourite sons.

After studying law at University of Edinburgh, he decided to become a writer and penned such classics as Kidnapped, The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde and Treasure Island, which has never been out of print.

Today, Napier students played the parts of Jekyll and Hyde to drum up support for the day of events in the city’s Old Town.

Among the events next Wednesday are guided walks exploring Stevenson’s Edinburgh haunts and readings of his work at the Scottish Storytelling Centre.

The day will close with a talk at the Royal College of Physicians from Scottish crime writer Louise Welsh and broadcaster James Naughtie who will discuss their lifelong fascination with Stevenson, his writing and travels.

Linda Dryden, professor of literature at Napier and director of Claw, said: “Stevenson is one of the city’s most famous sons but is often wrongly remembered only as a children’s author.

“Through RLS Day, we wanted to raise his profile in the same way that Bloomsday in Dublin so successfully celebrated James Joyce.”

 

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