Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson


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Robert Louis Stevenson’s rousing seafaring classic.

Treasure Island, a coming of age novel, is perhaps the best adventure story of all time. It is certainly the quintessential pirate tale, and together with its many movie adaptations it has created our idea of the pirate world: treasure maps with an “X”, the one legged pirate, the parrot on the shoulder, the eye-patch, the black spot and even phrases like “shiver my timbers,” and the captain’s eternal song:

“Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest—
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil had done for the rest—
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!”

The young Jim Hawkins is hired by an old seadog Billy Bones to look out for a sailor with one leg. Despite this precaution, Bones is found dead in suspicious circumstances. Searching through his belongings Jim finds a treasure map, which he shows to the local doctor and a wealthy squire. They engage a ship and captain, but unwittingly they hire the ruthless and immensely strong Long John Silver, who has designs on the treasure, as their cook …

The Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson, a celebrity during his lifetime, is best known for Treasure Island, Kidnapped, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, A Child’s Garden of Verse. While being a writer he was great traveller, journeying to Europe, America and the South Pacific, where spent his last years in Samoa. There he was respected and loved by the Samoans who called him Tusitala (Samoan for “”Teller of Tales””).


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