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'As a writer of the English language there has been no one to touch Stevenson in a hundred years...as a story-teller he is unsurpassed' George MacDonald Fraser

About the Author

Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh in 1850. Chronically ill with bronchitis and possibly tuberculosis, Stevenson withdrew from Engineering at Edinburgh University in favour of Studying Law. Although he passed the bar and became an advocate in 1875, he knew that his true work was as a writer. Between 1876 and his death in 1894, Stevenson wrote prolifically. His published essays, short stories, fiction, travel books, plays, letters and poetry number in dozens. The most famous of his works include Travels With A Donkey in the Cevennes (1879), New Arabian Nights (1882), Treasure Island (1883), The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1887), Thrawn Janet (1887) and Kidnapped (1893). After marrying Fanny Osbourne in 1880 Stevenson continued to travel and to write about his experiences. His poor health led him and his family to Valima in Samoa, where they settled. During his days there Stevenson was known as 'Tusitala' or 'The Story Teller'. His love of telling romantic and adventure stories allowed him to connect easily with the universal child in all of us. 'Fiction is to grown men what play is to the child,' he said. Robert Louis Stevenson died in Valima in 1894 of a brain haemorrhage.


Gr 3-7-The language in this adaptation is truer to the original, and thus, more sophisticated than that of Deborah Kestel's "Great Illustrated Classics" version (Playmore, 1992). After his father's death, David Balfour leaves his simple life in the Scottish Lowlands and sets out to find an uncle whom he has never met. Unaware of the bad blood between his father and uncle, he arrives at Ebeneezer's home, only to find that the cruel man has no intention of granting the lad his rightful inheritance. In fact, he has the boy kidnapped aboard a ship to be sold as a slave in North Carolina. David's tenacious spirit and his friendship with the rebellious Jacobite Alan Breck eventually bring him to safety. Told in 11 brief chapters, this abridgement introduces the basics of the story while maintaining a feel for the Scottish dialect. Some of the old-fashioned words and phrases may be a bit of a stretch for readers, but can be understood in context. Though obviously lacking in some of the details of the original, the narrative is easy to follow. Readers are able to gain insight into the hearts of David and Alan, although Ebeneezer and Captain Hoseason remain rather flat. Wyeth's oils (which appeared in the full-length version) add a sense of realism and capture interesting historical details. Meis's retelling retains the flavor of Stevenson's rollicking tale and might inspire readers to search out the full-length epic.-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

It stands as one of Robert Louis Stevenson's most compelling works - it was one of the author's favourites, and his affection for his central characters is unmistakable - and is a novel you want to press on people, knowing they'll love it -- Ian Rankin * Guardian *
Generations of readers have been enthralled by his tale of the gauche young David, orphaned at 17, who is plunged into a life of danger and excitement... His rescue by the daredevil Jacobite Alan Breck Stewart, their bloody battle with the crew of the Covenant and shipwreck on rocks off the west coast isle of Earraid are among the most exciting scenes penned by a Scots author * Daily Mail *
Anyone who has read Kidnapped knows that Robert Louis Stevenson was a marvellously powerful storyteller as well as a great stylist * Daily Telegraph *
It's a pacy, twisting story that appeals to all ages and across classes and cultures. It's a tale of friendship in adversity, and a coming-of-age story -- Ian Rankin * Guardian *
This really inspired me. I read it when I was young but still think it's great. Forget the Booker Prize, storytelling is what I love and this is storytelling at its best -- M. C. Beaton * Daily Express *

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