Under the Wide and Starry Sky

Under the Wide and Starry Sky 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 Fran

  • Title: Under the Wide and Starry Sky
  • Author: Nancy Horan
  • ISBN: 9780345516534
  • Page: 446
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Under the Wide and Starry Sky

    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 repairThe 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

    • æ Under the Wide and Starry Sky ✓ Nancy Horan
      446 Nancy Horan

    One thought on “Under the Wide and Starry Sky

    1. Kim Overstreet

      The historical fiction sub genre featuring characters who actually lived has become a favorite of mine e.g The Paris Wife, The Aviator s Wife, Loving Frank, Z, etc This fictionalized account of the relationship of Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson and his spunky, older American wife Fanny is my favorite so far Beautifully written and meticulously researched, this novel met all of my criteria for good historical fiction 1 Atmospheric Time, place, and emotion are wonderfully recreated As the [...]

    2. Gail Strickland

      You know those books you just can t put down The ones you are so into that everything else just goes by the waste side This isn t one of them.

    3. Kate Forsyth

      As soon as I heard about this book, I grabbed hold of it and read it There were two reasons for this One I really enjoyed Nancy Horan s earlier book Loving Frank , about the passionate love affair between Mamah Borthwick Cheney and Frank Lloyd Wright Two the novel tells the story of Robert Louis Stevenson and his wild, strong willed American wife, Fanny I have had a soft spot for Robert Louis Stevenson since I was given his poetry to read as a little girl In particular, his poem The Land of Coun [...]

    4. Erin

      Find this and other reviews at flashlightcommentary.I began Nancy Horan s Under The Wide Starry Sky with high hopes, but ultimately liked the idea that behind the piece than the reality Though I found the narrative offered interesting perspective on Stevenson s personal life, the structure of the novel left much to be desired Be warned, possible spoilers ahead For one thing, I found the pacing of the novel particularly troublesome I lost interest in the first few chapters, stopped, read two oth [...]

    5. Robert

      What I ve learned is having faith is a truly rare gift, and that even if I m filled with that much faith, or confidence, that I still have my doubts, those moments where it feels like it will all go to hell, but it won t really matter because no one is paying attention anyway, and I can make whatever mistakes I need to make, and that ends up being another great gift the opportunity to fail miserably without the whole world watching Just when it seems like I m at my lowest point, and there s no w [...]

    6. Susan Johnson

      I m so glad this book is over I really didn t like Fanny Stevenson She made me gnash my teeth and scream to myself, Oh no She can t be saying that or doing that She was quite the narcissist and put herself above anyone else She uprooted her children from Oakland to Belgium and then to Paris She thought she was an artist but when her daughter proved to be a better artist, the lessons started When her son falls desperately ill, she doesn t reach out to her husband for help until it s almost too la [...]

    7. Dianne

      I received an advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley Thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine books.I have to confess that I am not fully on board with the recent trend of books narrated by the spouses of historical figures It makes me cringe a little bit to think of these women, long gone and unable to defend themselves, having words put in their mouths and motives ascribed to them that may not be remotely accurate And invariably, it seems that these stories take on a chick lit flavor that [...]

    8. Connie

      Robert Louis Stevenson and Fanny van de Grift Osbourne had a marriage that was both supportive and stormy before they were finally laid to rest under the wide and starry sky in Samoa They met in an artists colony in France in 1876, and Louis fell hard for the exotic American woman Fanny had come to Europe with her children to study art and leave her unfaithful husband Louis, a decade younger, had finished a law degree but wanted a life as a writer Louis had trouble with his lungs, but had an opt [...]

    9. Jessica

      Phew just finished this It feels like I ve been reading this book for months There was nothing distinctly bad about it, just nothing all that notably good about it, either It just felt like it went on and on and on, and nothing notable ever really happened Except that s not true at all The two main characters led pretty extraordinary lives, particularly for their era They were respected, famous people in their lifetimes, who lived very unconventional lives And yet something in the writing just c [...]

    10. David Kinchen

      BOOK REVIEW Under the Wide and Starry Sky Intriguing Novel Biography of Robert Louis Stevenson and his Wife Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne StevensonREVIEWED BY DAVID M KINCHENStevenson had always wanted his Requiem inscribed on his tomb 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 [...]

    11. Cynthia

      Not as good as Loving Frank I wanted to read Under the Wide and Starry Sky because I liked Loving Frank so much While I liked Under I didn t feel it was as compelling as Frank It s about the author Robert Louis Stevenson s writing and his relationship with his wife Fanny Because of Stevenson s health he suffered from tuberculosis they traveled to many exotic locales in hopes his health would improve Besides his native Scotland they lived in Paris and Switzerland and most notably in Samoa where t [...]

    12. Krista Baetiong Tungol

      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 long d to be Home is the sailor, home from the sea, And the hunter home from the hill Requiem , Robert Louis StevensonUnder the Wide and Starry Sky tells about the love story of Robert Louis Stevenson and Fanny Osbourne and the life they had built together as husband and wife Theirs had been a whirlwind romance, which w [...]

    13. steen

      And so begins a turbulent love affair that will last two decades and span the world That s the concluding line for the blurb about Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan So provocative and alluring, right It s a somewhat fictional take on the romance between Fanny Osbourne and the prolific writer, Robert Louis Stevenson Admittedly, despite being a Literature major, I didn t know much about RLS, particularly something as appealing as a romance that dashed through the world It all sounded so [...]

    14. Chrissie

      BEFORE READING Under the Wide and Starry Sky Will this be as good as Fanny Stevenson A Romance of Destiny I definitely recommend Alexandra Lapierre s book AFTER READING Under the Wide and Starry Sky This and Lapierre s book complement each other I recommend reading both I recommend reading Lapierre s non fiction first so you know the truth of the events Lapierre s book has historical details covering political and cultural events occurring in the many different places the Stevensons lived Lapie [...]

    15. Barb

      This novel covers nearly thirty years in the lives of Fanny and Robert Louis Stevenson and their family I don t think I ve read a single one of Stevenson s books but I found Nancy Horan s tribute to his life compelling While the Stevenson s travel adventures were interesting what I enjoyed most was reading about the couple s relationship and Louis s relationship with his parents Thomas Stevenson was not very supportive of his son s career choice, he wanted him to build lighthouses or study law, [...]

    16. Laura

      This book was interesting in the beginning but was way too long to hold my interests for the duration of the novel Can t recommend this book As I told someone else look on for a few facts about the lives of the husband and wife but then take the time to read one of his works I think that would be time well spent.

    17. Marnie

      The first book I remember owning as a child was A Child s Garden of Verses given to me by my kindergarten teacher It was a prized possession and one of the few mementos I have from childhood It is surprising that I never went on to read any of his books but that is going to change Nancy Horan is making a living off of the phrase behind every great man stands a woman The author of Loving Frank tells us the story of Robert Louis Stevenson and his great love Fanny Osbourne Fans of The Paris Wife w [...]

    18. Barbara

      Under the Wide and Starry Sky is an historical novel about Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife, Fanny It s divided into three Parts I found Part One to be a bit cumbersome It s a book club read, so I soldiered on which I wouldn t have done otherwise Part two was far interesting, as was part three However, I felt it was written passively so as a reader, I wasn t really engaged or part of the book.On the plus side, I did learn about Stevenson s life Prior to this novel, I knew he was sickly as a [...]

    19. Candace

      The love story between Robert Louis Stevenson and Fanny Osbourne is one of those it would be hard to make up They met in the French countryside when Fanny was recovering from the death of her son and Louis was visiting his cousin She was American, older than him, and married to a philanderer in San Francisco She also had two young children He was already ill with tuberculosis but nonetheless striving to become a writer, not the doctor his family expected Their courtship was certainly not easy Fa [...]

    20. JoAnne Pulcino

      UNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKYNancy HoranUNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKIES is the fascinating life and love story of Scottish writer, Robert Louis Stevenson and his unconventional wife Fanny Fanny runs away from America with her three children to escape her philandering husband She and her three children go to Belgium where Fanny and her daughter plan to study art.After a personal tragedy Fanny needs the respite of a quiet artists colony In France While recovering the lively Robert Louis Stevenson [...]

    21. Berit☀️✨

      This was a book club read and I probably would not have picked it up on my own it was a fictional account of author Robert Louis Stevenson and his relationship with his spunky American wife fanny I have never read a book by RLS, Probably never will, but he sure did live in interesting life not to mention he had a very interesting personality this book took you all over the world America, France, England, Scotland, Samoa, Hawaii when it wasn t part of America something that really struck me with [...]

    22. Miranda Lynn

      I decided to stop reading this book at 46% This book had so much potential I was excited to read about a whirlwind love affair between a famous writer and a bull headed divorc ebut that wasn t what I got I dragged myself through the first half of this book for days and days, not wanting to pick it up, but knowing that I needed to at least try to get through this I gave it a really good shot, but this book and I just didn t click Maybe it was just me, but it was so hard to get through The writing [...]

    23. Marcella

      This is a bit hard for me because I loved the author s first book called Loving Frank I wanted to love this book just as much even so since it s actually longer However, I found that that is exactly what actually caused me to not like it as much as I wanted to the length Not that I m afraid of long books or don t enjoy them, but this one in particular could have been written with less detail I feel that not only would this have saved time, but it also would have made the story so much better an [...]

    24. Patricia

      Horan author of Loving Frank again takes historical events in the life of a strong woman and weaves them into a compelling fictional portrait I didn t know anything about Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife Fanny but now I want to read a biography or two.

    25. Book Concierge

      Book on CD performed by Kirsten Potter.2.5 This work of historical fiction tells the story of the relationship of Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne and Robert Louis Stevenson It begins when Fanny leaves her philandering husband in San Francisco, and sails to Belgium with her children and their nanny, so that she can study art Eventually she finds herself in an artists community in France, where she meets Stevenson, and the rest, as they say, is history I really liked Horan s earlier book Loving Frank [...]

    26. Vonia

      This novel is brought to us by the lovely woman that wrote Loving Frank Although not quite as phenomenal as her debut, her sopho piece, also a biographical fiction, again about the wife of a great, this time an author rather than an architect Frances Van de Grift Osbourne, the determined, fierce, loving, vivacious wife of the renown Robert Louis Stevenson, is quite the woman behind the scenes At almost five hundred pages, spanning several decades, and an impressive cast of characters, there was [...]

    27. Maryellen

      It seems only fitting that this close to Valentine s Day I should read and revel in this love story And truly, that s what this book is it is the love story of Robert Louis Stevenson and his beloved wife, Fanny van de Grift Osbourne Stevenson Author Nancy Horan pieces together bits of history taken from the many letters and publications of Mr and Mrs Stevenson and combines them with her own imaginings to give to us this love story And than a love story it is UNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKY is an [...]

    28. Michelle Hankes

      Robert Louis Stevenson has made a dramatic impact on our global history in literature, as well as poetry, essays, and so many other versions of the written word To hear an historical fictional account of his life, his love and his work was truly inspiring The story of Robert Louis Stevenson Louis and Fannie Osbourne s lives, as they collided and then collaborated, is a monumental tale about two people, their predispositions a little pride, a little prejudice , and how love truly can be a force t [...]

    29. Lilisa

      A window into the relationship and marriage of Fanny van de Grift Osbourne and Robert Louis Stevenson, this historical fiction traces this unconventional partnership Fanny ten years older than Louis the name he was known as in real life at times seemed his mother than wife and partner A scrappy woman, her marriage has already disintegrated as a result of her husband s regular philandering, when she meets young Louis, a lawyer and an aspiring writer in Grez sur Loing, France Herself an artist an [...]

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