Robert suffered from ill-health for most of his life (thought to be tuberculosis) and spent time traveling through the South Pacific searching for a climate to ease his symptoms. In 1890, he and his wife Fanny purchased a block of land in Samoa. It's a gorgeous spot, in the middle of the bush and surrounded by vast grass lawns and lots of tropical plants. There is a beautiful view out to sea, the sort of view one would never tire of watching. Of course when Robert purchased the land on the slopes of Mt. Vaea, it was covered with bush and in a rough state. They lived in a shack while they cleared the site and built their house. Their estate was christened Vailima.
He lived there happily with his family and made friends with the locals while continuing to write. He died suddenly on 3 December 1894 at the age of 44.
This is a view of the mansion. As you can see it's quite big and has several bedrooms. It also has a ballroom and a library, which was my favorite spot.
This is the view of the bush from the house.
And here's the view of the sea from inside the house.
We were given a guided tour around the house by Margaret who was very knowledgeable and answered all our questions. I loved this place because we were actually allowed to touch. The valuable first editions, were of course, locked up, but there were none of the ropes and barricades found in stately homes.
The above photo shows the formal room. Note the fireplace - the only one in Samoa! The wall paper is all batik style and that's a lion skin on the floor.
This is a first edition of Kidnapped.
Robert Louis Stevenson's medicine cabinet complete with bottles and potions.
And this is me on the staircase.
Robert Louis Stevenson is buried on Mt. Vaea and overlooks Vailima. His wife Fanny, who was American, died in California. Her ashes were buried at the foot of her husband's grave.
If you ever visit Samoa I highly recommend a visit to Robert Louis Stevenson's house.
If you had the money, where would you build your dream house and office?