Monday, June 22, 2015

Treasure Island - The Classic Pirate Adventure Story

Treasure Island is an adventure novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. The story was originally serialized in the children's magazine Young Folks, under the title The Sea Cook, as the work of "Captain George North" over a period of several months from 1881-82. Treasure Island was first published as a book by Cassell and Company of London in 1883. Roberts Brothers of Boston published the first illustrated edition and the first US edition in 1884, and followed the next year (1885) with a paperback version using the same illustrations as the 1884 edition.

What we have is the 1885 Roberts Brothers’ paperback edition. It is complete, except for missing the back cover … something almost unheard of for these lower quality mass publications. Look at the photos for condition … but I describe it as very good for a 130-year old paperback. These paperbacks … which later were called “dime store novels” … brought literature to the masses at a time when many in the population could not read or write.

Traditionally considered a coming-of-age story, Treasure Island is the classic pirate tale, known for its superb atmosphere, character and action. It is one of the most frequently dramatized of all novels. The influence of Treasure Island on popular perception of pirates is vast ... including treasure maps where an "X" marks the spot, pirate schooners, the "Black Spot," tropical islands and one-legged ship’s captains with parrots on their shoulders. 

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. Published by Roberts Brothers, Boston. ©1883. Published 1885. Paperback including illustrations. viii, 292 p.; Illustrations plus map; 17x11 cm; Advertisements bound in at the end. Price $85.00.

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