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About the Author: Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis (Balfour) Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, and travel writer, and a leading representative of English literature. He was greatly admired by many authors, including Jorge Luis Borges, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling and Vladimir Nabokov.

Most modernist writers dismissed him, however, because he was popular and did not write within their narrow definition of literature. It is only recently that critics have begun to look beyond Stevenson's popularity and allow him a place in the Western canon.


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Goodreads rating: 3.81

Paperback, by Penguin Books

ISBN10: 0140437681 | ISBN13: 9780140437683

Page count: 210

"One more step, Mr. Hands, and I'll blow your brains out! Dead men don't bite, you know."

Originally conceived as a story for boys, Stevenson's novel is narrated by the teenage Jim Hawkins, who outwits a gang of murderous pirates led by that unforgettable avatar of immorality, Long John Silver. Admired by Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, and (reluctantly) Henry James, the story has the dreamlike quality of a fairy tale. It has worked its way into the collective imagination of more than five generations of readers, young and old alike, gaining the power of myth.

Although thoroughly British in its setting and characters, Treasure Island, as John Seelye shows, has an American dimension, drawing on the author's experiences living in California, and owes no small debt to Washington Irving's ghost stories and James Fenimore Cooper's tales of adventures. This edition also includes Stevenson's own essay about the composition of Treasure Island, written just before his death.

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