The Scottish novelist and poet Robert Louis Stevenson, author of such classics as Treasure Island, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Kidnapped, and a major celebrity in the Victorian era, is the inspiration for a new album by Newlyn singer and songwriter Neil Adam.
Mr Adam and his partner Judy Turner have an abiding love for the writer, a man who was famous when fame was mostly limited to royalty, generals and hanged renegades, with few writers beyond Dickens, Tennyson and Wordsworth being household names.
Mr Adam and Ms Turner had planned to be in Scotland in August 2020 for the 170th anniversary of Stevenson's birth, having had their show about his life story, Sing Me A Song, sell out at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in August 2019.
"2020 was the year where we were going to be taking our Stevenson show out to the wide world again," Mr Adam says.
"We were due to be going back to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August, we were going to be touring in the states we hoped, and we had already organised tours in Tasmania and New Zealand. However, lockdown happened and things had to change.
"We found ourselves at home, and Judy made the very sensible suggestion we should use the time to turn the prayer songs, which I was writing and had written, into an album."
That album, The Windmill Needs the Wind, features 12 of the Vailima prayers written by Robert Louis Stevenson when he was spending the last years of his life in Samoa.
Although Stevenson was a committed atheist for the greater part of his adult life, he was deeply moved by the cultural depth of the Samoan people and their commitment to their island and way of life. He could see the colonial threat coming to Samoa, and was torn by his inability to stop Germany and the United States from exploiting and dividing the country, destroying its beauty.
The prayers, which he wrote towards the end of his life, were written for Stevenson's extended family and his community of Samoan families living at Vailima, Apia.
"Written under Pacific skies, they have relevance to people struggling with disease, disempowerment or despair, anywhere," Mr Adam says.
Because all of his musician friends were also under lockdown, Mr Adam used internet media to draw them together for the recording.
"Because they were not touring, not making their income in the usual way, the end result of that was, via Zoom and Skype and phone calls, we were able to be in touch and send files backwards and forwards, and they did the recordings in their own homes," he says.
Adam gathered around him a group of fine acoustic musicians to record. The roll call includes some of the greats of the Australian folk scene: Dan Witton (Bush Gothic) on double bass; Luke Plumb (Luke Plumb and The Circuit) on mandolin; Hamish Davidson (Davidson Brothers) on fiddle; Judy Turner on fiddle, viola, uke; and singers Pete Daffy (The Funky String band); Bec Rigby (The Harpoons); Gus Rigby (Number One Dads, Fools) and Pete Daffy.