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Canongate Books, Jul 1, 2010 - Fiction - 416 pages
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With a preface by Louise Welsh. Edited and with an introduction and notes by Barry Menikoff. Tricked by the uncle who has stolen his inheritance, young David Balfour is kidnapped and bound for America. Or at least that was the plan, until the ship runs into trouble and David is rescued by Alan Breck Stewart, fugitive Jacobite and, by his own admission, a ‘bonny fighter’. Balfour, a canny lowlander, finds an echo of some wilder and more romantic self in the wilful and courageous Highland spirit of Alan Breck. A strange and difficult friendship is born, as their adventures begin. Kidnapped has become a classic of historical romance the world over and is justly famous as a novel of travel and adventure in the Scottish landscape. Stevenson’s vivid descriptive powers were never better than in his account of remote places and dangerous action in the Highlands in the years after Culloden. ‘A cracking tale of low skulduggery and high adventure, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped has enthralled generations of readers since its first publication in 1886. A book for thrill-seekers of all ages, this romp through Jacobite Scotland is a true classic.’ Sunday Herald ‘A delicately balanced book, expertly controlled, sharply focused, and written with an affectionate irony. It is perhaps the finest of Stevenson’s novels.’ Jenni Calder

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About the author (2010)

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94), was born and educated in Edinburgh. He was a sickly child, and most of his adult years were to be spent travelling in search of a climate which would do least damage to his lungs. Following the family tradition in civil engineering, he went to Edinburgh University in 1867. More interested in literature and the Bohemian life, he changed to law and qualified as an advocate in 1875. Thereafter he gave himself to his creative ambitions, with frequent visits to London and to France, where he met Fanny Osbourne, a married American woman who was to become his future wife. Stevenson began with essays, short stories and travel writing, most notably Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes (1879). He went to California to marry Fanny in 1880. The journey nearly killed him, but he wrote of his experiences in Across the Plains (1892), The Amateur Emigrant (1895) and The Silverado Squatters (1883). He is, perhaps, best remembered for his first novel Treasure Island (1883), and his early reputation was made with this and other examples of adventure fiction, not least Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde which appeared as a paperback thriller in 1886.

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