Robert Louis Stevenson and Monterey, California
In a fantasy journey back to Monterey, I imagine that the Scotch author was inspired to write his adventure tale, The Treasure Island. So much of the scenery from the time Stevenson spent there seem to be intact today and could easily make a background for the beloved story.
A poster close to the place he stayed for four months in the autumn of 1879 tells us that Stevenson became close friends with the French immigrant and restaurant owner Jules Simoneau. R. L. Stevenson had suffered since his childhood of chronic illnesses, so he appreciated that
His landlord treated him like a spoilt child searching Monterey for dainties.
From a Child’s Garden, 1885
To Alison Cunningham from her boy For the long nights you lay awake And watched for my unworthy sake: For your most comfortable hand That led me through the uneven land: For all the story books you read, For all the pains you you comforted, For all you pitied, all you bore, In sad and happy days of yore:- My second Mother, my first wife, The angel of my infant life- From the sick child, now well and old, Take nurse, the little book you hold! And grant it, Heaven that all who read May find as dear a nurse at need, And every child who lists my rhyme, In the bright fireside, nursery clime, May hear it in as a kind a voice As made my childish days rejoice! R.L.S.
The city centre and the fisherman’s wharf for sure resemble the time when Stevenson stayed there. Only the former fish industry is missing.
My pictures are from an unforgettable but short stay in November 2017.