Treasure Island

By Robert Louis Stevenson; Frank Godwin | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

T HERE is a very natural interest in knowing the story of a book that we like: when and where and under what circumstances it was written. If the book happens to be a great popular success, our interest in its story is much greater. Of such a book much that is told is usually gossip or tradition, interesting no doubt, but not to be depended on. Treasure Island is a very popular book, interesting to boys and girls of sixteen or sixty, and the author himself has told us the circumstances of his writing it. Read for yourselves what he has said in "My First Book," found in the volume of his completed works called Juvenalia.

In the winter of 1881, Stevenson was living in Braemar, Scotland. Here his stepson, Lloyd Osbourne, came to spend his vacation. Like other small boys, he was sometimes restless for want of something to do. One day his stepfather joined him as he was trying to amuse himself by drawing pictures. From a boy Stevenson had been fond of drawing pictures and he entered into the fun with zest. Presently he began to draw the map of an island, and as he drew he saw an irregular coast line, bays and rivers, hills and valleys, trees and grassy slopes. To this creation he gave the name of Treasure Island.

-vii-

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