Synopses & Reviews
During a holiday in his native Scotland, a tubercular and struggling writer and his step-son devised a map that led to imaginary treasure -- and enduring literature. Treasure Island, Stevenson's first full-length work of fiction, immediately secured his fame and, unlike sundry other "entertainments" of the period, continues to captivate readers of all ages.
The tale is told by an adventurous boy, Jim Hawkins, who spirits a treasure map away from the clutches of the menacing Blind Pew. Like his American soulmate Tom Sawyer, young Jim repeatedly disobeys the orders of his adult companions -- and by so doing always saves the day. Enlisting the help of Dr. Livesey and Squire Trelawney, Jim sets off in a hired ship in search of Captain Flint's buried treasure. Among the crew, however, is the treacherous Long John Silver, one of the great originals in English literature, who wants the treasure all to himself. This edition includes Stevenson's own essay about the composition of Treasure Island, written just before his death, and an intriguing Introduction by John Seelye that illuminates the reasons for the novel's continuing hold on the imagination.
Jim Hawkins had no idea, when he picked up the packet from Captain Flint's chest, that here lay the key to untold wealth - a treasure map. When Jim sails on the Hispaniola, with Long John Silver as ship's cook and the rest of the shifty crew, he embarks on the adventure of his life.
The quintessential adventure story that first established pirates in the popular imagination
When a mysterious sailor dies in sinister circumstances at the Admiral Benbow inn, young Jim Hawkins stumbles across a treasure map among the dead man's possessions. But Jim soon becomes only too aware that he is not the only one who knows of the map's existence, and his bravery and cunning are tested to the full when, with his friends Squire Trelawney and Dr Livesey, he sets sail in the Hispaniola to track down the treasure. With its swift-moving plot and memorably drawn characters Blind Pew and Black Dog, the castaway Ben Gunn and the charming but dangerous Long John Silver Stevenson's tale of pirates, treachery and heroism was an immediate success when it was first published in 1883 and has retained its place as one of the greatest of all adventure stories.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust theseries to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-datetranslations by award-winning translators."
The story grew out of a map that led to imaginary treasure, devised during a holiday in Scotland by Stevenson and his nephew. The tale is told by an adventurous boy, Jim Hawkins, who gets hold of treasure map and sets off with an adult crew in search of the buried treasure. Among the crew, however, is the treacherous Long John Silver who is determined to keep the treasure for himself.
Stevenson's first full-length work of fiction brought him immediate fame and continues to captivate readers of all ages.
About the Author
Robert Louis Stevenson
(1850-1894) was born in Edinburgh. In the brief span of forty-four years, dogged by poor health, he made an enormous contribution to English literature with his novels, poetry, and essays. The son of upper-middle-class parents, he was the victim of lung trouble from birth, and spent a sheltered childhood surrounded by constant care. The balance of his life was taken up with his unremitting devotion to work, and a search for a cure to his illness that took him all over the world. His travel essays were publihsed widely, and his short fiction was gathered in many volumes. His first full-length work of fiction, Treasure Island
, was published in 1883 and brought him great fame, which only increased with the publication of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
(1886). He followed with the Scottish romances Kidnapped
(1886) and The Master of Ballantrae
(1889). In 1888 he set out with his family for the South Seas, traveling to the leper colony at Molokai, and finally settling in Samoa, where he died.
John Seelye is a graduate research professor of American literature at the University of Florida. He is the author of The True Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain at the Movies, Prophetic Waters: The River in Early American Literature, Beautiful Machine: Rivers and the Early Republic, Memory's Nation: The Place of Plymouth Rock, and War Games: Richard Harding Davis and the New Imperialism. He is also the consulting editor for Penguin Classics in American literature.