Monday, July 4, 2011

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson


                       Treasure Island-Scribner's-1911.jpg

                              Cover illustration from 1911

  • Paperback: 151 pages – Unabridged
  • Genre : Victorian Classic Fiction
  • Publisher: Original Edition 1883– My edition published  by Dover 1993, cover not as illustrated above.
  • Source: My bookshelves.
  • First Sentence : Squire Trelawney, Dr. Livesey, and the rest of these gentlemen having asked me to write down the whole particulars about Treasure Island, from the beginning to the end, keeping nothing back but the bearings of the island, and that only because there is still treasure not yet lifted, I take up my pen in the year of grace 17-, and go back to the time when my father kept the "Admiral Benbow" inn, and the brown old seaman, with the sabre cut, first took up his lodging under our roof. 
  • My Opinion: Still has something to offer the 21C reader.

The Victorian Literature Challenge

I have read this novel before but as I found this copy sitting on our bookshelves decided that it would make a suitable read for The Victorian Literature Challenge

Treasure Island is an adventure story of pirates and buried gold and has tremendous  action told with plenty of atmosphere. When I read it as a child it left a great impression on me as I went on to use the idea of a Treasure Island in a school essay writing competition calling mine simply ‘The Island’.  I won a prize!

Pirates still hold a fascination with children and adults today, just look at the popularity of the Pirates of the Caribbean series of films.

Set in the 18C Treasure Island is a potent tale of piracy, an incomprehensible treasure map and a cast of villainous characters with the most appalling intentions. The story of the expedition and mutiny led by long John Silver is told through the eyes of Jim Hawkins, the cabin boy on the ‘Hispania’ as it sails to exotic waters to hunt for buried treasure.

The underlying theme of the novel is that it deals with the moral growth of our protagonist Jim Hawkins from adolescent to adult. Truth versus lies, drunkards versus abstainers, frugalness versus extravagance and religion versus agnostics all subjects of which Jim has to deal with in the course of his adventures.

Treasure Island will continue to captivate readers of all ages for many more generations, even if it is on their E–Readers.

Robert Louis Stevenson was born on the 13th of  November 1850 in Edinburgh, Scotland and died just 44 years later in Samoa on the
3rd of  December 1894. For the last twenty years of his life he suffered from a severe respiratory illness which after much travelling led him to settle in
Samoa.  He began his writing career as an essayist and travel writer, but the success of Treasure Island (1883) and Kidnapped (1886) established his reputation for tales of adventure and action.

There have been over 50 movie and TV versions made of Treasure island and numerous radio adaptations.and now the latest version is in video book format. Here is the first chapter for you if you are still undecided about reading or wish to renew your acquaintance with this novel.

Uploaded by CCProse on Jun 9, 2011

Chapter 01: The Old Sea-Dog At The Admiral Benbow. Classic Literature Video Book with synchronized text, interactive transcript, and closed captions in multiple languages. Audio courtesy of Librivox. Read by Adrian Praetzellis

Biographical and other background information is with thanks to the following  websites.

Wikipedia    You Tube

A full plot summary and background information can be found on Wikipedia - Treasure Island if you are interested in learning more about the novel.


  1. I have not read this since Middle School. Great post, and I think it is fun to revisit classics.

  2. I used to love this book as a kid; it's been so long since last read it!

  3. Ricki@ and Misha@ I rarely read a book more than once but this is one that it was interesting to revisit as an adult :)

  4. Great post, books worth re-reading. hugs ~lynne~

  5. Lynne@Thanks, you are right some books are worth re-reading.

  6. What a cute story about your childhood essay 'The Island'. Thanks for sharing. I can imagine why this book is so memorable. I will try and read this. Thanks.

  7. BookQuoter@ Oh do if you have the chance, I would love to read your quotes from this one :)

  8. I read this last year and it was a lot of fun. I don't have kids, but I'd love to read this one to my nephews.

  9. Melissa@ What a great idea, I think it is very important to read with children to help develop a love of the printed word. :)


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