Robert Louis Stevenson was born in 1850 to a Scottish family of lighthouse engineers, but as a young man, he turned from his family profession, as well as from the Christian faith and morals that he had been brought up in. He travelled extensively throughout Europe, America and the Pacific Islands despite the extremely serious pulmonary disease that he had contracted in early childhood, which brought him to the brink of death dozens of times. Stevenson wrote novels, poems, essays and travel diaries. His first novel, ‘Treasure Island’, was very successful and he became a literary celebrity in his own time. In 1890, he settled with his wife Fanny on Samoa, taking the native name Tusitala (Samoan for "storyteller"). When he suddenly died aged only 44 (probably due to a cerebral haemorrhage), the indigenes who loved Stevenson buried him on a spot overlooking the sea, and his tombstone epigraph, translated into a Samoan song of grief, is well-known and still sung there.