1881 - Treasure Island

Of the famous books known to many millions who haven't actually read them, Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island may hold the number one spot: there can be few who aren't familiar with the image of Long John Silver with his wooden leg and a parrot on his shoulder. But this landmark in popular literature is a widely-read one too: few if any other books have been translated so often, or have appeared in so many editions. The story first appeared in Young Folks, a magazine for children.

Stevenson was from a family of Scottish engineers, and qualified as an advocate 1875. Between then and his early death in 1894 he wrote a string of classics: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Kidnapped, The Master of Ballantrae, Weir of Hermiston, and Treasure Island, a masterpiece of story-telling that has been much imitated but never equalled. While writing the tale, Stevenson declared 'If this don't fetch the kids, why they have gone rotten since my day . it is about Buccaneers . it's all about a map, and a treasure, and a mutiny, and a derelict ship, and a current, and a fine old Squire Trelawney . and a doctor, and another doctor, and a sea cook with one leg, and a sea-song with the chorus "Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum"'.

Young folks, Vol. XIX, No.565, 1 October 1881. Mas.712. Click for larger image

Treasure Island


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