Treasure Island (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Treasure Island (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

3.7 471
by Robert Louis Stevenson, N. C. Wyeth

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Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble…  See more details below


Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

The most popular pirate story ever written in English, featuring one of literature’s most beloved “bad guys,” Treasure Island has been happily devoured by several generations of boys—and girls—and grownups. Its unforgettable characters include: young Jim Hawkins, who finds himself owner of a map to Treasure Island, where the fabled pirate booty is buried; honest Captain Smollett, heroic Dr. Livesey, and the good-hearted but obtuse Squire Trelawney, who help Jim on his quest for the treasure; the frightening Blind Pew, double-dealing Israel Hands, and seemingly mad Ben Gunn, buccaneers of varying shades of menace; and, of course, garrulous, affable, ambiguous Long John Silver, who is one moment a friendly, laughing, one-legged sea-cook . . .and the next a dangerous pirate leader!

The unexpected and complex relationship that develops between Silver and Jim helps transform what seems at first to be a simple, rip-roaring adventure story into a deeply moving study of a boy’s growth into manhood, as he learns hard lessons about friendship, loyalty, courage and honor—and the uncertain meaning of good and evil.

Angus Fletcher is Distinguished Professor Emeritus, City University of New York, and is the author of Allegory: The Theory of a Symbolic Mode, Colors of the Mind, and A New Theory for American Poetry, among other books.

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Product Details

Barnes & Noble
Publication date:
Barnes & Noble Classics Series
Product dimensions:
5.75(w) x 8.44(h) x 1.00(d)

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From Angus Fletcher’s Introduction to Treasure Island

If we go back to the origins of adventure story fiction, we discover that the heroic quest remains its principal myth. Quest-romances take many different forms, whether it be the search for the Holy Grail in Arthurian legend, for the Golden Fleece (as in the Argonautica, the ancient epic of Jason and the Argonauts), for the safe return home after perilous Homeric wanderings, as in the Odyssey, or for a wide range of ends both material and spiritual. What is important is that, once established in classic form, the great adventure stories render all readers, of any age, essentially children at heart. The quest gives us our dream of success, and when we tire of daily labor in making a living, it returns us to that time of the dream. Thus for Treasure Island the questing dream comes out of a long preceding history. Besides two early travel books based on journeys in France, Stevenson told stories in homage to the Near Eastern tradition of loosely woven adventures: his New Arabian Nights (1882), in which the exotic nature of travel to distant lands is imagined as occurring in stories set in Europe. This art of romance thrives on the incredible voyage, the sailor’s yarn (in his day perhaps more fashionable than any other type), the tall frontier tale, including exotic or utopian settings that could never actually exist, because romance demands almost complete power to overcome all human obstacles. The mode of romance therefore demands freedom to imagine. Yet the tradition seems to mix realism on some level with such unreal situations for the hero. In Robinson Crusoe (1719) Daniel Defoe mingles fact and fiction liberally. The same mixture appears in Arthurian lore, while with the rise of the modern middle classes a new kind of romance arises around the quest for material success.

By Stevenson’s time Protestant beliefs and secular technology had long since fueled the rise of capitalism. Robinson Crusoe, while it inaugurated the realistic tradition of the novel in England, makes a continuous critical commentary on mercantile capitalism and its value system, especially as they derive aid and comfort from Protestant Christianity. Crusoe, whose name plays on the name of Christ, is in effect a marooned capitalist, who must rebuild his fortune, by returning his commercial skills to their most primitive beginnings. In this process Crusoe learns who he actually is. Such a quest is tied to the science of counting up supplies, enemies, distances, and even dreams, all of which become the very stuff of realistic modern fiction. Typically the castaway begins his lonely sojourn by surveying what is left to him from the ruins of shipwreck—that is, making the inventory of tools available beyond mere life itself. To be sure, virtually all the major novelists comment, directly or allusively, on the nature and sources of wealth, often indicating how these derive from imperial expansion. Scholars have found these middle-class indicators in what might seem the strangest places—for example, the novels of Jane Austen. Character and commerce seem not so secretly linked. Yet how could it be otherwise, since the bourgeois novel attempts an accounting of life? At the end of the nineteenth century, Henry James claimed for the novel that its function was to provide genuine “criticism” of the way we live, to provide a kind of narrative philosophy, storytelling endowed with serious levels of meaning, suggesting profound and often obscure themes. Stevenson’s essay “A Humble Remonstrance” (1884; see, in “For Further Reading,” The Lantern-Bearers and Other Essays) countered James’s critical principle by favoring romance. There is no way, the essay claimed, for the novel to “compete with life.” Instead the novel should maintain its exhilarating imaginative independence from the crude facts of existence, drawing upon those facts solely as a resource for delineating passion. (The saame article faults the distinguished American novelist and editor William Dean Howells for a similar dependency upon the new naturalistic style.) Stevenson wanted to keep the idea of treasure somehow pure. With Henry James, whom Stevenson so much admired and who became his valued correspondent, the idea of a treasure sought by adventurous quest took on an ironic aspect. James’s critical gaze, enhanced by his own obsession with wealth, led him to analyze the typical methods of acquiring it, such as real estate speculation in the value of houses or New Englanders piling up industrial wealth or European princes marrying American money. In these late novels and stories James’s critical conceptions collide with material obsessions, and the results are often obscure, even uncanny, as in The Ambassadors, The Wings of the Dove, and The Golden Bowl.

By the author’s own account “the seed” of his novel came from the idea of a treasure chest he found in another adventure story, Charles Kingsley’s At Last (1871). As a goal of acquisitive good luck and daring, treasure in general provides the motive, indirectly or directly (consider Rider Haggard’s immensely popular novel King Solomon’s Mines) for all sorts of adventures. The nineteenth century saw a new world of yearning popular literature, much like Hollywood movies and television shows today. Sentimental romances, “penny dreadfuls,” and “shilling shockers” enthralled large masses of readers. The fossilized popular novels of this earlier date now sit moldering on the storage shelves of pre-electronic libraries, their desiccated pages exuding a dismal smell. Once great in number and acclaim among the young, they saved many a tedious day from misery. The adventure novels of G. A. Henty (1832–1902) appeared in more than 150 volumes. In twentieth-century Britain, Henty was displaced by the more up-to-date Percy Westerman (1876–1959; at school youngsters called him “Percy Piffler,” to show they knew their author), who wrote more than 100 such books. In the United States, to match such prolific output one would look to the 135 “dime novels” of Horatio Alger (1832–1899), again showing how the market of books for the young continued and still continues to put a premium on production. This literature multiplies mainly because it lacks any serious, thought-provoking realism about the hazards of either romance or adventure. The book cannot be read fast enough! Sentimental romances and the adventure stories are of course the same commodity, masked by gender difference. If the novel is to work, it must on some level achieve an illusion of escape, and also of achieving a goal at the same time.

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Treasure island 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 471 reviews.
Sonja Bush More than 1 year ago
Seriously this is an amazing story. Do not listen to bad reviews this book will absolutely captivate you. It isn't like the pathetically uncerebral books written today. If you can't handle big words... stick to Twilight. If you want something that will stimulate your imagination, I highly recommend this.
swallow More than 1 year ago
I wish people would stop giving books bad reviews for the sole reason that they are hard to read. I mean, yeah it'll be hard to understand. This was back when average intelligence, or at least vocabulary, was way higher than it is now. The fact is this is a great book, that is why they call it a classic. I guess we've been so dumbed down that we resent anything that forces us to think a little harder than normal.
Julie Moses More than 1 year ago
i just got my nook and was browsing when i found this. i have read it before, and i loved it. if you want to read something good, here you go. its a wonderful classic.
Mark Beliveau More than 1 year ago
My brother got this book on his kindle and I am soooo glad to get it for free on my nook color. I have to say,it is a must read. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The number of typos and "imperfections" was a distraction. And there were occasions where my enjoyment was diminished by trying to figure out what the word is. I recommend trying to get a "cleaner" version of this incredible story, it is worth the effort.
Eric Becker More than 1 year ago
ggreat book but not the best copy....lots of typos
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing. It is a must read for book fanatics. There are a few errors/spelling mistakes but it doesn't make the book less enjoyable. This is the best book i have read so far. Got to love the classics. If you are looking for a book filled with pirates and exciting adventures than this is the book to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It costs $0.99 and whenever I try to read it a little sign pops up that says sorry can't open this book I'm going to delete it after I write this review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am on chapter 22 right now and so far, i love it! A lot of peeps die in this book in case you didn't read it yet. It's all about pirates and treasure and killing people(peeps are people!). ANYWAYS............I love this book. And I think you should read a book called The Call Of The Wild by Jack London. That is also one of my favorite books.
noodlenj More than 1 year ago
Compared to the real book this downlaod has way too many misspellings. Sometimes instead of ltters symbols are used! Loved the story though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book doesnt work
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is a reason this book is an all time classic. It started adventure with buried treasure and pirates. It is a difficult read because it was written at a time when English was almost a different language. When pirates had their own vocabulary. In all a great adventure story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I mean the book is okay but the movie is better. But who cares about the plot the adventur is better. It is more awe to it but anyway love the book ,but the movie is better it is how I rool. [Look if u single caal back]
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was looking for a book one summer, so my Dad took me to the library. I did not know what to read so he said let's look at the 'classics'. We asked the woman at the desk what some classics were and she said Treasure Island. We ll we found the book and a few others. Ipicked it up in the car on theway home and i was hooked. It starts with a young Jim Hawkins at his father's motel. One day a one-legged pirate came in and he was in awe. You have to read young Jim's story, you will be in awe. 5 stars at LEAST? Great book. I would recomend to anybody with craving for thrill.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got the "SURPERIOR FORMATTING PUBLISHER" Treasure Island, and the interactive table of content is broke, it does not do anything but a half second flash. Also, the page count is off, it scips 2-3 page numbers, but I don't think there are breaks in the reading, just bad counting.
Anonymous 11 months ago
It was ok
Anonymous 11 months ago
Cool book huh. Huhu
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a good book! If you like adventure ( or pirates ) you will so love this book! ( Don't listen to other reviews that are bad because it's not true )
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No npt that much it adventurous and interesting
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The font is really bad and the author was said to go on drugs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
History: I grew up a young Poler ((a Poler is a person from the planet Plater)). As I grew up I became a shifter, but as years went by I mainly became a werewolf and honored my pack as alpha. RP history: 2 years Thanks! And I really hope I'm eligible! ~Amanda
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NAME: Selina Mercades Kirov•••• BACKGROUND: Selina was abandoned when she was little because she was too different compared to her other sister and brother. She lived on her own for a year, and was taken in by an older lady. (XD) •••• SPECIES: Time Lady•••• PARENTS: Unknown•••• YEARS OF ROLEPLAYING: 1 and a half years.