Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Fanny Stevenson: A Romance of Destiny” as Want to Read:
Fanny Stevenson: A Romance of Destiny
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Fanny Stevenson: A Romance of Destiny

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  55 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Providing a clear, accurate picture of the woman behind the genius, an incisive biography of the wife of Robert Louis Stevenson traces Fanny Stevenson's life from her early years in America to her days after his death.
Hardcover, 556 pages
Published March 22nd 1995 by Carroll & Graf Publishers (first published May 11th 1993)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Fanny Stevenson, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Fanny Stevenson

West with the Night by Beryl MarkhamMy Journey to Lhasa by Alexandra David-NéelThe Valleys of the Assassins by Freya StarkStraight on Till Morning by Mary S. LovellEighty Days by Matthew Goodman
Trailblazing Women Adventurers
45th out of 211 books — 90 voters
The Luminaries by Eleanor CattonUnder the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy HoranA Man for All Seasons by Robert BoltWolf Hall by Hilary MantelA Bloody Field by Shrewsbury by Edith Pargeter
Books with similar plot
24th out of 43 books — 5 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 177)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I HAD NO IDEA!!! This is continually how I reacted when I read about the life of Fanny Stevenson (1840-1914), the wife of Robert Louis Stevenson, the famed novelist, poet and travel writer (1850-1894). It was with continual wonder and surprise that I read the pages of this book. Beginning in the 1860s she traveled the world in a fashion that sounds imaginary. She traveled from Indianapolis, where she was born, to New York, then boat to the Panama Isthmus, on to San Francisco and then Nevada. The ...more
Jul 22, 2012 Judy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Natalie
Recommended to Judy by: Susan/YLTO & Chrissie
Fanny Stevenson: A Romance of Destiny rates as one of the better biographies I've read in the last five years. I believe this one will be one that I remember and refer back to often.

Fanny's life contained much diversity, adventure, travel and love's ups and downs. She certainly was a unique individual and clearly had some charisma where men were concerned, although I am still baffled as to why that was considering the chauvinistic era in which she lived. IMO Fanny serves as pre-feminist. She nur
I was fascinated with the lives of Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife Fanny Osbourne. They traveled the world in search of a environment that would suit Louis's condition. I found it amazing that they traveled and lived in the harshest conditions in the mid 1800's.....and loved it!
I love biographies....and this book did not disappoint. It's a long read and most of the story I was familiar with after reading "Under the Wide and Starry Sky" by Nancy Horan which I also enjoyed tremendously.....I h
Becky Loader
Oh, Fanny.

Fanny Stevenson endured a marriage of hardship and a philandering husband. Determined to study art, she took the brave step to leave the U.S. with her children in tow. Meeting Robert Louis Stevenson at an artist colony, she fell in love head over heels. They had an amazing life together.

I like reading biographies to fill in the details so often left out in the fleeting memory of fame.

Great book about a woman before her time.
Rebecca Blackson
This was an interesting and fun read, despite being horrifically long. For some odd reason, I thought the first half of the book about her life with her first husband was more interesting than her famous life with Robert Louis Stevensen. And I don't think she was a "violent" person at all. I think she went through horrendous trials that strained her to exhaustion both mentally and physically.
Why I will not read Under the Wide and Starry Sky" Under the wide and starry sky " by Nancy Horan, even though I fairly liked Loving Frank. Simply because The WomenThe women by TC Boyle was great and much more then Loving frank .
And now with this new book it is the same only reverse I have read Fanny Stevenson: A Romance of DestinyFanny Stevenson : between Passion and freedom by Alexandra Lapierre.
A wonderful story. It was fun and fast to read. The book focused mainly on stevenson's wife and it
Excellent book. I love well written stories about real people who lived their life with inner dignity and courage!
I give this tome four stars, because it is exhaustive in it's content. I'm not entirely sure how the author could have pared it down without sacrificing the readers' ability to know their subject, Fanny Vandegrift Osbourne Stevenson, wife of Robert Louis Stevenson. She lived quite an interesting life, with her travels being at the forefront of her story. She seems to me like an accidentally worldly person; her first husband's fortune-seeking put her on a path of following him around the country. ...more
Fanny Vandegrift Osbourne Stevenson was a remarkable woman who seemed to live several different lives in one lifespan. She traveled back and forth between the civilized world and the barbarous regions at the edge of society, not with aplomb, but with gritty determination. (view spoiler) ...more
This is an excellent biography of Robert Louis Stevenson's wife translated from French. It is well documented, well written, and well translated. What a strong, strong woman who knows what she wants and goes after it often to the detriment of others and eventually to herself. She lives for the moment with little thought of consequences as long as adventure is involved. She devotes her life to keeping the frail RLS alive, his writing and his happiness all intertwined! Their family dynamics, their ...more
Jan 26, 2008 Carolyn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all bibliophiles
This book looks at the fascinating life of Fanny Stevenson, the wife of Robert Louis Stevenson. She was born in mid-America and came to be the driving force in the career and life of the famous Scottish author. Both of their stories are vastly interesting. They are, of course, intensely complex individuals. She, much more so than he. This is one of the best biographies that I have ever read. Meticulously researched and expertly written. It is out of print, but look for it at the library or buy i ...more
quelle femme! quelle passion! quelle vie! quel amour! j'ai tout aime dans ce livre et Alexandra Lapierre a clairement eu un coup de foudre pour Fanny, coup de foudre qu'elle ne pouvait que nous faire partager. J'ai ri, j'ai pleure et j'ai eu envie de relire les RLS que je n'avais pas lu depuis mon enfance. A la lumiere de l'histoire de M et Mme RLS, "L'Ile au Tresor" et autres merveilles n'en devenaient que plus beaux. Merci
Alexandra Lapierre is a superb scholar and a wonderful storyteller. Fanny Stevenson's story is epic. I will never forget her fearless trek across Panama. Bonus: You get to know Robert Louis Stevenson as well. Visit Lapiere's site:
An incredible woman of her time. An amazing story of a symbiotic family that has some wild travels. Don't really understand the allure of Robert Louis Sfevenson. I would have liked to get into the head of Fanny more. Where the author got all her quotes stumped me. Way too long.
This is the biography of the wife of Robert Louis Stevenson. I found it fascinating. Though the detailed narrative became tedious at times, it was beautifully written and meticulously researched.
I would rather read a biography than just about anything else and this re-enforces my love of that genre. This is an extraordinary story of the woman behind Robert Louise Stevenson.
There were parts of this book that were quite interesting, but in the end, the level of detail was just too exhausting to keep me interested.
La vie de Madame Robert Louis Stevenson...passionnant !
Ana marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2015
Peggy Williamson
Peggy Williamson marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2015
Teresa marked it as to-read
Jun 27, 2015
Moira Mcglynn
Moira Mcglynn marked it as to-read
Jun 23, 2015
Jodi marked it as to-read
Jun 23, 2015
Maria marked it as to-read
Jun 22, 2015
Chicktrisch is currently reading it
Jun 14, 2015
Mary marked it as to-read
Jun 07, 2015
Sara marked it as to-read
May 23, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
You'll love this ...: Buddy Read for Fanny Stevenson 8 17 Jun 29, 2012 04:19PM  
Alexandra Lapierre has won international acclaim for her writing. Her works have been widely translated and she has received numerous awards, including the Honorary Award of the Association of American University Women. She earned an MFA degree in 1981 from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

The daughter of the writer Dominique Lapierre, she was brought up surrounded by books. At
More about Alexandra Lapierre...
Artemisia Between Love and Honor Women Travelers: A Century of Trailblazing Adventures, 1850-1950 L'excessive Le voleur d'éternité : La vie aventureuse de William Petty, érudit, esthète et brigand

Share This Book