Under the Wide and Starry Sky Pdf Summary Review By Nancy Horan

Under the Wide and Starry Sky Pdf Summary

Under the Wide and Starry Sky Pdf book is the passionate and turbulent story of Robert Louis Stevenson and his tempestuous American wife, Fanny.

At the age of thirty-five, Fanny van de Grift Osbourne leaves her philandering husband in San Francisco and sets sail for Belgium to study art, with her three children and a nanny in tow. Not long after her arrival, however, tragedy strikes, and Fanny and her brood repair to a quiet artists’ colony in France where she can recuperate. There she meets Robert Louis Stevenson, ten years her junior, who is instantly smitten with the earthy, independent and opinionated belle Americaine.

A woman ahead of her time, Fanny does not immediately take to the young lawyer who longs to devote his life to literature, and who would eventually write such classics as Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In time, though, she succumbs to Stevenson’s charms. The two begin a fierce love affair, marked by intense joy and harrowing darkness, which spans decades as they travel the world for the sake of his health. Eventually they settled in Samoa, where Robert Louis Stevenson is buried underneath the epitaph:

Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

(Requiem, Robert Louis Stevenson)


Under the Wide and Starry Sky Review


5.0 out of 5 stars RL Stevenson
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on May 14, 2015

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What a wonderful experience it was to read “Under the Wide and Starry Sky” by Nancy Horan. It may seem a bit trite for a librarian to say “this is one of the best books I have ever read”; however, Under the Wide and Starry Sky captivated me from the beginning. I enjoyed Nancy Horan’s book “Loving Frank”, which tells the story behind Frank Lloyd Wright. It was well done and informative as well as entertaining. This new book exceeded my expectations. It is the story of Fanny, the woman behind Robert Louis Stevenson.

Fanny is an amazing woman with an inner strength that is amazing. The pictures that Horan paints with words are rich, colorful and fully defined. They pull you into the world of the Fanny, Louis and their friends and family whether they are at sea or on land and when the weather is stifling hot or bitterly cold. Through success, failure, illness, health and just life events, there is nothing boring in the telling of their story. Reading this book has inspired me to reread some of Stevenson’s early works as well, notably “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, “A Child’s Garden of Verses” and “The Master of Ballantrae” which is included in the latter part of the book.

I finished this book with a bit of sadness as I wanted to continue reading about Fanny and Louis. I give the book a full 5 stars and strongly recommend it to men, women, book clubs and young adults. It is a powerfully executed story.


5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply engrossing
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 24, 2019

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The writings of Robert Lewis Stevenson enriched my childhood. I memorized most of A Child’s Garden of Verses. I read the adventure stories and loved the movies based in his more famous novels. I have passed on my love of Stevenson ‘s poems and novels to my children. Now I have just finished this incredible story about the lives of R.L. Stevenson and is wife, Fanny. What a wonderful book! I heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in Robert Lewis Stevenson, Henry James, Samoa, sea voyages, and diseases during that time in history. Every page exudes the fierce spirits and creative talents of Stevenson and Fanny. My favorite part was the ending which I will remember as this scene is one of the best in the novel!

B Dunham

5.0 out of 5 stars For Anyone Who Loves Literature.
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on July 18, 2019

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I almost didn’t read this book since I’d found Loving Frank a bit tedious, but I’m so glad I did. When I was a child, my mother read to me from A Child’s Garden of Verses while I was home with the red measles. Later in my confinement, I remember playing with my dolls in “The Land of Counterpane.” My childhood also spent summers at the beach after Hurricane Hazel, and this book brought back memories of barefoot explorations and adventures, so I greatly identified with life in North Carolina’s version of the South Seas.

At times, I disliked Fanny. Other times I loved her, but at the end of the book she certainly was the major factor in creating the RLS we all know. To say that she was such a “strong woman” seams so trite these days. Our mothers, Victorian grandmothers and great-grandmothers were all “strong women” because life demanded it of them. Being the wife of a Victorian artist must have been difficult enough on its own, more-so if she was an artist herself who went without recognition and put her husband first because she acknowledged he was the better one. Her devotion to him, and that of the islanders at the end of his life, were heart-wrenching. Thought it seemed a bit long at times, what a beautifully told story!

About Nancy Horan Author of Under the Wide and Starry Sky Pdf Book

Nancy Horan
Nancy Horan

Nancy Horan the Author of Under the Wide and Starry Sky Pdf Book is a writer and a journalist whose work has appeared in numerous publications. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her husband and two sons. Loving Frank is her first novel.

Under the Wide and Starry Sky pdf, Paperback, Hardcover Book Information

Under the Wide and Starry Sky pdf books
Under the Wide and Starry Sky pdf books
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Ballantine Books; 1st edition (January 21, 2014)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 496 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0345516532
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0345516534
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.9 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.44 x 1.33 x 9.53 inches
  • Best Sellers Rank: #785,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • #1,946 in Biographical Historical Fiction
  • #2,594 in Biographical Fiction (Books)
  • #39,550 in Literary Fiction (Books)
  • Customer Reviews: 4.2 out of 5 stars    1,287 ratings

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