Robert Louis Stevenson


Nearly everyone in Napa knows the story of the infamous Scotsman, Robert Louis Stevenson. His famous quote, “Wine is bottled poetry,” adorns the gateway into Napa Valley, and most of us have heard tales of how he followed a married American woman, Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne, from Paris to San Francisco in the 1880s. And that once in California he nearly succumbed to illness and poverty, eventually persevering and marrying the newly divorced Fanny. Once married, they, along with their dog and Fanny’s son, honeymooned on Mount Saint Helena in a rundown shack in the small mining settlement of Silverado. Their honeymoon adventure became the material for Silverado Squatters (1883), and other stories.

But what did he have to say about writing? The following quote sums it up nicely, “The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean.” So, taking this to heart, perhaps the next time we each raise a glass we might think about our own writing and what it truly means.

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About MWycombe

Webmaster for Napa Valley Writers
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