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Kidnapped
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Bibliographic Detail
Publisher Createspace Independent Pub
Publication date June 1, 2013
Pages 244
Binding Paperback
Book category Adult Fiction
ISBN-13 9781490329437
ISBN-10 1490329439
Dimensions 0.55 by 5.06 by 7.81 in.
Original list price $11.99
Summaries and Reviews
Amazon.com description: Product Description: Kidnapped is a historical fiction adventure novel by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson. Written as a "boys' novel" and first published in the magazine Young Folks from May to July 1886, the novel has attracted the praise and admiration of writers as diverse as Henry James, Jorge Luis Borges, and Seamus Heaney. A sequel, Catriona, was published in 1893. As historical fiction, it is set around 18th-century Scottish events, notably the "Appin Murder", which occurred near Ballachulish in 1752 in the aftermath of the Jacobite Rising.[1][2] Many of the characters, and one of the principals, Alan Breck Stewart, were real people. The political situation of the time is portrayed from different viewpoints, and the Scottish Highlanders are treated sympathetically. The full title of the book gives away major parts of the plot and creates the false impression that the novel is autobiographical. It is Kidnapped: Being Memoirs of the Adventures of David Balfour in the Year 1751: How he was Kidnapped and Cast away; his Sufferings in a Desert Isle; his Journey in the Wild Highlands; his acquaintance with Alan Breck Stewart and other notorious Highland Jacobites; with all that he Suffered at the hands of his Uncle, Ebenezer Balfour of Shaws, falsely so-called: Written by Himself and now set forth by Robert Louis Stevenson. The central character and narrator is a young man named David Balfour (Balfour being Stevenson's mother's maiden name), young and naive but resourceful, whose parents have recently died and who is out to make his way in the world. He is given a letter by the minister of Essendean, Mr. Campbell, to be delivered to the House of Shaws in Cramond, where David's uncle, Ebenezer Balfour, lives. On his journey, David asks many people where the House of Shaws is, and all of them speak of it darkly as a place of fear and evil. David arrives at the ominous House of Shaws and is confronted by his paranoid Uncle Ebenezer, armed with a blunderbuss. His uncle is also niggardly, living on "parritch" and small ale, and indeed the House of Shaws itself is partially unfinished and somewhat ruinous. David is allowed to stay, and soon discovers evidence that his father may have been older than his uncle, thus making himself the rightful heir to the estate. Ebenezer asks David to get a chest from the top of a tower in the house, but refuses to provide a lamp or candle. David is forced to scale the stairs in the dark, and realizes that not only is the tower unfinished in some places, but that the steps simply end abruptly and fall into the abyss. David concludes that his uncle intended for him to have an "accident" so as not to have to give over his inheritance. David confronts his uncle, who promises to tell David the whole story of his father the next morning. A ship's cabin boy, Ransome, arrives the next day, and tells Ebenezer that Captain Hoseason of the brig Covenant needs to meet him to discuss business. Ebenezer takes David to a pier on the Firth Of Forth, where Hoseason awaits, and David makes the mistake of leaving his uncle alone with the captain while he visits the shore with Ransome. Hoseason later offers to take them on board the brig briefly, and David complies, only to see his uncle returning to shore alone in a skiff. He is then immediately struck senseless. David awakens bound hand and foot in the hold of the ship. He becomes weak and sick, and one of the Covenant's officers, Mr. Riach, convinces Hoseason to move David up to the forecastle. Mr. Shuan, a mate on the ship, finally takes his routine abuse of Ransome too far and murders the unfortunate youth. David is repulsed at the crews' behaviour, and learns that the Captain plans to sell him into servitude in the Carolinas.

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