First published as a serial in YOUNG FOLKS between May and July 1886 and now reprinted in an Everyman edition on the centenary of Stevenson's death. KIDNAPPED is an adventure story that has become the model for any thriller of escape and suspense. Set in 1751, the flight of David Balfour and Alan Breck across the Highlands of Scotland is based on real events. Through he wrote the book to make money, while living as an invalid in Bournemouth. Stevenson was proud of it; he inscribed a presentation copy with the couplet. Here is the one sound page of all my writing. The one I'm proud of and that I delight in. Rowland Hilder is famous for his paintings of the English countryside but his work in book illustration covered a much wider canvas. His drawing for KIDNAPPED were first published in 1930 and have undesevedly, been long out of print.
Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh in 1850. Chronically ill with bronchitis and possibly tuberculosis, Stevenson withdrew from Engineering at Edinburgh University in favour of Studying Law. Although he passed the bar and became an advocate in 1875, he knew that his true work was as a writer. Between 1876 and his death in 1894, Stevenson wrote prolifically. His published essays, short stories, fiction, travel books, plays, letters and poetry number in dozens. The most famous of his works include Travels With A Donkey in the Cevennes (1879), New Arabian Nights (1882), Treasure Island (1883), The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1887), Thrawn Janet (1887) and Kidnapped (1893). After marrying Fanny Osbourne in 1880 Stevenson continued to travel and to write about his experiences. His poor health led him and his family to Valima in Samoa, where they settled. During his days there Stevenson was known as 'Tusitala' or 'The Story Teller'. His love of telling romantic and adventure stories allowed him to connect easily with the universal child in all of us. 'Fiction is to grown men what play is to the child,' he said. Robert Louis Stevenson died in Valima in 1894 of a brain haemorrhage.
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