Wednesday Words: Robert Louis Stevenson

Author Robert Louis Stevenson famously hails from Edinburgh, but did you know our coastline inspired a number of locations in his books? He is of course, the creator of Jekyll & Hyde, Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and many poems and travel writings. Most interesting to swashbuckling visitors to Burntisland Studio, though, is perhaps the beautiful village of Limekilns just down the Firth of Forth on the other side of the bridges.

Just look at it!

Amid the row of pretty cottages lined up along the waterfront, you’ll find a rustic-looking white building called the Ship Inn. This pub is the setting of a crucial scene in Kidnapped, and thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you can find the section here just by searching for ‘Limekilns’.

In the story, the barmaid helps the main characters find a boat to cross the Firth of Forth to Edinburgh. Alan convinces the bonnie lass that David is a dying Jacobite, much to David’s embarrassment, and she takes pity on them and helps them out.

A couple of bonus RLS facts for you today… he hailed from a family of lighthouse engineers, and his grandfather designed the lighthouse on the Isle of May (visible from many places along the Fife coast) among many other beautiful towers. RLS’s father, Thomas Stevenson, was a renowned lighthouse guy too, and also invented the famous Stevenson’s Screen – those beehive like things that are used for taking weather measurements. Interesting that his famous son would tell tales of dramatic navigation around coastal waters!