17 Heriot Row is where Robert Louis Stevenson, famous Edinburgh author of Treasure Island, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Kidnapped grew up with his family. A townhouse in Edinburgh’s New Town, the house reflects Stevenson’s upbringing of middle class respectability. The house was built between 1802 and 1806, part of a city rebuild which featured the Edinburgh middle and upper classes’ relocation from the tottering buildings in the Old Town to a northerly grid of stately streets and elegant housing.
These days the house is owned by John and Felicitas Macfie, who live in it with their six children. The house has been kept in beautiful condition since Stevenson lived there by subsequent families and by the Macfies. The Macfies, realising the level of interest in Robert Louis Stevenson, now run the house as a venue for hosting conferences, receptions, lunches and dinners. It still feels like a family home.
A talk is given in the living room of the house as part of RLS Day as part of an afternoon tea; surely one of the laziest and loveliest ways to spend an afternoon with Robert Louis Stevenson.