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Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped is at once a rollicking adventure story and an earnest political allegory. This Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction and notes by Donald McFarlan and a foreword by Alasdair Gray. Orphaned and penniless, David Balfour sets out to find his last living relative, miserly and reclusive Uncle Ebenezer.
But Ebenezer is far from welcoming, and David narrowly escapes being murdered before he is kidnapped and imprisoned on a ship bound for the Carolinas. When the ship is wrecked, David, along with the fiery rebel Alan Breck, makes his way back across the treacherous Highland terrain on a quest for justice. Through his powerful depiction of the two very different central characters - the romantic Breck and the rational Whig David - Stevenson dramatized a conflict at the heart of Scottish culture in the aftermath of the Jacobite rebellion, as well as creating an unforgettable adventure story.
This new edition includes a foreword by Alasdair Gray discussing Stevenson's life and literary career and how he came to write Kidnapped. In his introduction, Donald McFarlan considers the novel's realism and a depiction of Scotland. This volume also includes a historical note, a map, notes, new further reading and a glossary. Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) was born in Edinburgh, the son of a prosperous civil engineer.
Although he began his career as an essayist and travel writer, the success of Treasure Island (1883) and Kidnapped (1886) established his reputation as a writer of tales of action and adventure. Stevenson's Calvinist upbringing lent him a preoccupation with predestination and a fascination with the presence of evil, themes he explored in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886), and The Master of Ballantrae (1893).
''One of the classic coming-of-age stories for children and young adults today.'' -- School Library Journal
''This tale of high adventure, told simply but colorfully, is woven around a true incident; Stevenson's characters, from all classes, noble and ignoble, are skillfully drawn and develop convincingly as they pass through kidnappings, battles at sea, murders, and other adventures . . .
About the Author
Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson (13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894) was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer. His most famous works are Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
A literary celebrity during his lifetime, Stevenson now ranks among the 26 most translated authors in the world. His works have been admired by many other writers, including Jorge Luis Borges, Bertolt Brecht, Marcel Proust, Arthur Conan Doyle, Henry James, Cesare Pavese, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling, Jack London, Vladimir Nabokov, J. M. Barrie, and G. K. Chesterton, who said of him that he "seemed to pick the right word up on the point of his pen, like a man playing spillikins."
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