A novel by the name of Treasure Island shaped the perception of pirate for millions of people. Robert Louis Stevenson’s adventure novel made us picture pirates with one wooden leg and a parrot on their shoulders. The novel that birthed that image is as wild as the legacy it has left behind which is why it is worth reading at least once!
Treasure Island: Summary
Jim Hawkins, the son of an innkeeper, is warned of “a one-legged seafaring man.” A few days later, a violent fight breaks out at the inn and Jim and his mother get caught in the middle of the fight for a treasure map. When the pirates suspect the innkeepers of being in the possession of the map, the mother-son duo flee.
Jim and his mother escape and take money and an envelope that one of the pirates had. In the envelope, Jim finds a treasure map. After asking physician Dr. Livesey and the squire John Trelawney for more information, the trio decides to make an expedition to the island in search of the treasure.
Jim and his two companions decide to travel by ship and hire a crew to help them travel. Unknowing to them, most of the crew is also after the treasure. Those crew members served under the infamous pirate Captain Flint, the same one who drew the treasure map. Now, Jim has to save the lives of his friends and retrieve the treasure without any of his friends dying. As he has seen, the pirates are ruthless and will kill anyone over the treasure.
Treasure Island is a fun adventure novel with a lot of disputes. The fact that it is pitched as a kid-friendly novel nowadays is interesting since it doesn’t read like one. Still, it does grab onto your imagination no matter what age you are. Just like Alice in Wonderland, the novel finds a home with a certain audience.
The book was first conceived by Stevenson based on an imaginary map that he created with his stepson Lloyd Osbourne in 1881. It was originally titled The Sea Cook and that has to the worst name of a book that I can think of. Even worse than the original name of 4:50 for Paddington What Mrs McGillicuddy Saw.
The novel was published as chapters in the magazine Young Folks. After finishing 19 chapters, Stevenson had to stop writing due to an illness and left Scotland and headed to London. His father helped by suggesting some ideas and it was later republished under the title Treasure Island.
I won’t sit here and say that the novel was life changing but but I still enjoyed it. It was informative and I do like seeing first hand the novel that shaped my idea of pirates growing up. Amazing that a novel published in the 19th century has that much of an influence in the 20th and 21st century.
I recommend the novel as your next relaxing read. It is a quick read and it isn’t quite what you expect. Who doesn’t like a good sea adventure novel that still stands the test of time? Happy reading!