Scotland. Robert, born in Edinburgh on 24 April 1825, died 8 February 1894, was a Scottish author of juvenile fiction who wrote more than 100 books. He was also an accomplished artist, and exhibited some of his water colours at the Royal Scottish Academy. He was the ninth of ten children and the youngest son, to Alexander Thomson Ballantyne, born 1776, died 1847, and his wife Anne, born 1786, died 1855. Ballantyne went to Canada aged 16, and spent five years working for the Hudson's Bay Company. He traded with the local Native Americans for furs, which required him to travel by canoe and sleigh to the areas occupied by the modern day provinces of Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec, experiences that formed the basis of his novel Snowflakes and Sunbeams. In 1847 Ballantyne returned to Scotland to discover that his father had died. He published his first book the following year, Hudson's Bay: or, Life in the Wilds of North America, and for some time was employed by the publishers Messrs Constable. In 1856 he gave up business to focus on his literary career, and began the series of adventure stories for the young with which his name is popularly associated. Ballantyne spent his later years in Harrow, London, England, before moving to Italy for the sake of his health, possibly suffering from undiagnosed Ménière's disease. He died in Rome on 8 February 1894.
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