Google Doodle is celebrating the birthday of Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson the creator of Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
RL Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist and travel writer. Stevenson has been greatly admired by many authors, including Jorge Luis Borges, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling, Marcel Schwob, Vladimir Nabokov, J. M. Barrie, and G.K. Chesterton, who said of him that he "seemed to pick the right word up on the point of his pen, like a man playing spillikins."
Stevenson was a celebrity in his own time, but with the rise of modern literature after World War I, he was seen for much of the 20th century as a writer of the second class, relegated to children's literature and horror genres. Condemned by literary figures such as Virginia Woolf (daughter of his early mentor Leslie Stephen) and her husband Leonard, he was gradually excluded from the canon of literature taught in schools.
His exclusion reached a height when in the 1973 2,000-page Oxford Anthology of English Literature Stevenson was entirely unmentioned; and the Norton Anthology of English Literature excluded him from 1968 to 2000 (1st–7th editions), including him only in the 8th edition (2006).
The late 20th century saw the start of a re-evaluation of Stevenson as an artist of great range and insight, a literary theorist, an essayist and social critic, a witness to the colonial history of the Pacific Islands, and a humanist.
By remembering him through Doodle, Google has paid the best tribute to this artist.