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Margaret Stevenson (née Balfour)

(1829-1897), Mother of Robert Louis Stevenson

Sitter in 1 portrait
Devoted herself to caring for her tubercular son, the author Robert Louis Stevenson. She travelled with him to the Continent and to America. When he went to live at Apia in Samoa for his health, she swiftly set out for the Pacific in 1891. By this time Stevenson was married to Fanny, an American divorcee. Stevenson went to meet his mother in Sydney but fell ill, requiring her immediate nursing. When they arrived in Apia the house was still incomplete. Margaret returned to Sydney, coming back when it was habitable. Life revolved around Stevenson's writing. He died suddenly in 1894. Forty Samoan chiefs carried him to burial and Margaret returned to Scotland to mourn.

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