A list of RLS Societies

The Robert Louis Stevenson Club, Edinburgh

Contact: John W.S. Macfie
Correspondence Secretary
The Robert Louis Stevenson Club
17 Heriot Row
Email: rlssecretary@yahoo.co.uk

The RLS Club was formed in 1920 by those who had known Stevenson and wanted to care for his memory.

The Club’s main objective is “to foster interest in Stevenson’s life and works”. Since 1920 this has been met by exhibitions, lectures, readings, literary competitions, and the maintenance of the first Edinburgh RLS museum at his birthplace (8 Howard Place) from 1925 to 1964 when the Club’s collection of RLS memorabilia was transferred to the City of Edinburgh’s Writers’ Museum in the Lawnmarket.

Since 1920 the club has held an annual RLS Dinner or Lunch at which literary and public figures like Walter de la Mare, John Buchan, J.B. Priestley and Ludovic Kennedy have spoken.

In 1985, on the Centenary of A Child’s Garden of Verses, the club launched an international appeal which raised funds for the following:

1.  To create a memorial to RLS in West Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh – designed by the Scottish artist-poet Ian Hamilton Finlay in the form of a copice of birch trees round a simple stone column, this memorial was inaugurated in 1989.

2.  To endow the RLS Memorial Trust to help children with respiratory diseases – a “living memorial” and continuing commitment in memory of RLS. Fund-raising for the Trust has been added to the Club’s objectives.

In 1994 the Club played an important part in the Centenary of the death of RLS, when the writer was celebrated in a host of events in many countries.

In 2000 the Club marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of RLS, with events and the publication of a Birthday Book. The Club currently organises events throughout the year, and publishes the RLS Club News in April and October. Whenever possible, the Club arranges additional benefits for Members, such as discounts on RLS-related purchases.

The Club, which has members world-wide, has close links with the RLS Club of Monterey, California, and is twinned with the Assocation sur le Chemin de RLS in the Cevennes, France.

The Club is always eager to welcome new members, whether beginners or established enthusiasts, so that enjoyment of his writing will be maintained and enhanced wherever and whenever possible.

The Monterey RLS Club

Contact: Maureen Bianchini
P.O. Box 2562
Monterey, California 93942, USA

The Club is based at the Stevenson House State Historical Monument, Monterey, where it meets every two months for literary study (talks, readings, dramatized readings etc.). It also promotes conservation and commemoration activities and publishes a newsletter RLS Club of Monterey: News and Views. Special activities are planned around the date of Stevenson’s birthday (13th November).

The Club is currently helping the City of Monterey in the planning of a memorial to RLS and his friend Jules Simoneau on the site of the latter’s tavern in Simoneau Plaza.

The Stevenson Society of America, Saranac Lake

Contact: Jim Abendroth, President ([+001] 518-891-0805) or Les Hershhorn, Treasurer ([+001] 518-637-4989 or [+001] 518-891-6406)
PO Box 607
Saranac Lake NY 12983, USA

The Stevenson Society was first called the Stevenson Memorial Committee and fulfilled its original purpose on October 30, 1915, when, at the Saranac Lake cottage occupied in 1887-1888 by Robert Louis Stevenson, it unveiled a bronze bas-relief memorial tablet designed by Gutzon Borglum. On that occasion the committee was resolved into a permanent organization, renamed as the Stevenson Society, its “membership open to anyone interested in the author and his works and who desire to spread his brave philosophy of living.”

According to its original charter, the purposes of the Stevenson Society are:

(1) The collection and preservation of relics of Robert Louis Stevenson;
(2) The collection and preservation of original manuscripts and first editions of his works;
(3) The collection and preservation of books relating to Stevenson, and
(4) The ultimate acquiring of a permanent home for proper housing of the collection.

The Society achieved its principal objectives in 1915, purchasing the Baker Cottage as a permanent home for the collection.

For more information, you can visit the Society’s website: http://www.robertlouisstevensonmemorialcottage.com/society.html

Association ‘Sur le Chemin de R.L. Stevenson’, Mont Lozère, France

For more information, contact the Robert Louis Stevenson Club, Edinburgh (above), or visit http://www.chemin-stevenson.org/.

Robert Louis Stevenson: Le chant du lendemain… Un voyage pour demain, Etréaupont, France

This is a blog associated with the Mediatèque of Entréaupont in the north of France, on RLS’s Inland Voyage route. The Mediatèque orgainized Stevenson festivals for six years from 2001 to 2006 and has links with the Mont Lozère association.

The Kirov Robert Louis Stevenson Club, Russia

Contact: Anatoli Batalow
c/o The Robert Louis Stevenson Club, Edinburgh (see above)

The Club is formed of local enthusiasts. Anatoli Batalow has appealed for books and studies of RLS in English. The Robert Louis Stevenson Club, Edinburgh is coordinating the sending on of the requested books, so all those willing to contribute should contact them.

Image of RLS certificate courtesy of Alan Marchbank