illustration
©2004 Socar Myles

 

FANNY VAN DE GRIFT STEVENSON

Depicted by her husband's biographers variously as muse, martyr or dominating shrew, Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne met Robert Louis Stevenson in a French artists' colony when he was 25. Fanny, ten years older and the mother of three, was separated from her first husband, Sam Osbourne, a notorious gambler and womanizer. A short-haired, cigarette-smoking, independent American, Fanny became the ideal companion for the globe-trotting Stevenson. She collaborated with him on a number of his literary works, including The Ebb-Tide and The Dynamiter, and became a published author on her own after his death. The Nixie, illustrated in the first edition of Graphic Classics: Robert Louis Stevenson, originally appeared in Scribner's Magazine in 1888.