Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped, Or, The Lad with the Silver Button: The Original Text

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Huntington Library, Jan 1, 1999 - Fiction - 334 pages
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Robert Louis Stevenson always considered Kidnapped, the tale of 17-year-old David Balfour's adventures in the remote islands and highlands of Scotland with renegade soldier Alan Breck Stewart, to be his greatest novel, but when the classic adventure tale was published in 1886, it was without much of what its author held dear. His English publisher had excised many of the Scottish words and phrases he had used to evoke the suspense of the novel. From simple misreadings to deliberate revisions, subsequent printed editions represented major departures from Stevenson's handwritten text.

Drawing on the unique autograph manuscript in the Huntington Library, Professor Barry Menikoff has faithfully reproduced the text as Stevenson originally wrote it, restoring the author's language and punctuation, as well as the authentic Scots quality of his diction.

This handsome new edition of a novel, whose avowed purpose was the recovery of an important part of Scots history, reproduces for the first time the original drawings that accompanied the text during its serialization in Young Folks. Menikoff's substantial introduction situates the book in its cultural context and enables us to see why Stevenson's contemporaries were both entranced and awed by his achievement. In his extensive notes to the novel, he reveals Stevenson's enormous prestige as an authority on language, both English and Scots, for Kidnapped was widely drawn upon as a reference by lexicographers for the Oxford English Dictionary and the Scottish National Dictionary. Finally, for a tale that charts the "wanderings" of David Balfour over the land and seas of Scotland, this edition is the first to provide a gazetteer of place-names encountered during the course of those travels.

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Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped, or, The lad with the silver button: the original text

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Editor Menikoff insists that Stevenson's novel has been unfairly relegated to young adult fiction. To remedy that, he restored the text to its original form, reinstating deleted passages and Stevenson ... Read full review

A great adventure!

User Review  - aleaf -

Wow, how I love this story. I remember reading this book as a child and so decided to add it to my own library for my children to hopefully enjoy. Read full review



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About the author (1999)

Barry Menikoff is professor of English and American literature at the University of Hawaii and one of the world's leading authorities on Robert Louis Stevenson. He has previously published Robert Louis Stevenson and "The Beach of Falesa" and a collection of Stevenson's shorter fiction, Tales from the Prince of Storytellers.

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