Kidnapped

By Robert Louis Stevenson,

Book cover of Kidnapped

Book description

Robert Louis Stevenson's classic, swashbuckling novel about a young boy who is forced to go to sea and who is then caught up in high drama, daring adventure and political intrigue.

Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket-sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon…

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Why read it?

5 authors picked Kidnapped as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This is an enthralling adventure story that drags the reader across the rugged mountains, glens, and cities of 18th-century Scotland as the hero seeks to recover his stolen inheritance.

The story gallops along with vivid descriptions that transport the reader back to a time when loyalty and honour were really cherished. The character development, as David Balfour and Alan Breck risk all amongst the failed Jacobite uprising, is exceptional. This is another timeless classic that transports the reader to another age.

I love the interplay of real characters and real events with the underlying story, a technique that I use…

Kidnapped was the first novel to make me understand how a talented writer could turn historical events into an entertaining story.

Written in 1886, it is set in 1751, just after the Jacobite Rising of 1745. As a young writer, I dramatised it for BBC Radio, fell in love with Alan Breck and still find him the most attractive man in literature. "A man I would rather call my friend than my enemy" as Stevenson describes him. Kidnapped is a romance as well as an adventure or, more accurately, a bromance between young David Balfour and irrepressible, dangerous, honourable Alan…

From Catherine's list on bringing european history vividly to life.

This is one of my favourite books of all time, not least because my Dad was an extra in the Michael Caine film version and gifted me a copy of the book when I was eight and in hospital. It is set around the true story of the Appin murder and tells the story of David Balfour. On the surface this is a historical adventure story however at its heart is the friendship between David Balfour and Alan Breck Stewart. Despite their obvious differences, such as age and politics, the two men form a loyal and enduring friendship and are…

From Catriona's list on showing the hidden parts of Edinburgh.

I read Stevenson’s A Childhood Garden of Verses and then Kidnapped the novel which I enjoyed far more than Treasure Island. In Kidnapped the hero David Balfour is beset by challenges that ‘doubles’ his adventures. Kidnapped is more intensely engaging because instead of imagining yourself part of a group, you ‘become’ David Balfour alone beyond mere suspense into elements of horror and which he survives. It was my first experience with a Gothic novel. This is the sort of book where you forget everything and are transported within David Balfour’s journeys by land and sea.

What I still…

Alright, so this timeless adventure starts in Edinburgh and moves through the Highlands and the West Coast of Scotland before returning to Lowland Scotland for its resolution, and takes place in 1751, after the Union of Crowns has finally settled the Borderlands. Yet in David Balfour and Allan Breck Stewart it dramatizes that same conflict between Reason and Impulse, the Romantic and Practical Necessity, that has its origins in the C16th-17th Catholic-Protestant struggle for hearts and minds and souls. It’s pacey, astute, unforgettable, while being highly insightful into the dual aspects of the Scottish psyche that the Reformation has…

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