Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island Map









This book is one of our favourites. A survey showed that it is just as popular with young ladies as it is with gents. In fact, the ladies appear to love this story, slightly more than the chaps. Mostly, the book is read in schools. But, parents often purchase a copy for their children. There has not been a recent re-make of the classic, faithful to the book, though a number of animations have been released, deviating from the original quite considerably. The problem being the competition from super-hero movies that tend to make adventure 'period dramas' slow and somewhat boring to modern audiences. Unless, they've read the book or a graphic novel version.


Stevenson originally gave the book the title 'The Sea Cook.' One month after conceiving of the book, chapters began to appear in the pages of the Young Folks magazine. After completing fifteen or nineteen chapters rapidly, Stevenson was interrupted by illness; he left Scotland and continued working on the first draft near London, where he and his father discussed points of the tale, and his father suggested elements that he included. The novel eventually ran in seventeen weekly installments from October 1, 1881, to January 28, 1882. The book was later republished as the novel 'Treasure Island' and proved to be Stevenson's first financial and critical success. The Liberal politician William Ewart Gladstone, who served four terms as British Prime Minister between 1868 and 1894, was one of the book's biggest fans.

Two general types of sea novels were popular during the 19th century: 


1. The navy yarn, which places a capable officer in adventurous situations amid realistic settings and historical events, and 


2. The desert island romance, which features shipwrecked or marooned characters confronted by treasure-seeking pirates or angry natives. 


Around 1815, the latter genre became one of the most popular fictional styles in Great Britain, perhaps because of the philosophical interest in Rousseau and Chateaubriand's "noble savage". Treasure Island was a climax of this development. The growth of the desert island genre can be traced back to 1719 when Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe was published. A century later, novels such as S. H. Burney's The Shipwreck (1816), and Sir Walter Scott's The Pirate (1822) continued to expand upon Defoe's classic. Other authors, in the mid-19th century, continued this trend, with works including James Fenimore Cooper's The Pilot (1823). During the same period, Edgar Allan Poe wrote, "MS Found in a Bottle" (1833) and "The Gold-Bug" (1843). All of these works influenced Stevenson's end product.

Stevenson also consciously borrowed material from previous authors. In a July 1884 letter to Sidney Colvin, he wrote that "Treasure Island came out of Kingsley's At Last, where I got the Dead Man's Chest - and that was the seed - and out of the great Captain Johnson's History of the Notorious Pirates". Stevenson also admits that he took the idea of Captain Flint's pointing skeleton from Poe's The Gold-Bug and he constructed Billy Bones' history from the "Money-Diggers" section ("Golden Dreams" in particular) of Tales of a Traveller by Washington Irving, one of his favorite writers.

Half of Stevenson's manuscripts are lost, including those of Treasure Island, The Black Arrow, and The Master of Ballantrae. Stevenson's heirs sold his papers during World War I; many of his documents were auctioned off in 1918.


Stevenson conceived the idea for the novel based on a map of an imaginary, romantic island which he drew with his stepson Lloyd Osbourne, during a holiday in Braemar, Scotland in the summer of 1881. He had clearly started work by 25 August, writing to a friend, "If this don't fetch the kids, why, they have gone rotten since my day. Will you be surprised to learn that it is about Buccaneers, that it begins in the Admiral Benbow public house on the Devon coast, that it's all about a map and a treasure and a mutiny and a derelict ship... It's quite silly and horrid fun – and what I want is the best book about Buccaneers that can be had". Jim Hawkins: The narrator of most of the novel. Jim is the son of an innkeeper near Bristol, England, and appears to be in his mid-teens. He is eager to go to sea and hunt for treasure. Jim consistently displays courage and heroism, but is also sometimes impulsive and impetuous. He exhibits increasing sensitivity and wisdom as the journey progresses.










Admiral Benbow, The - A tavern where Jim Hawkins lived

Adventure - An 8 gun sloop captured by Blackbeard

Adventurers - People who explore land and oceans, looking to solve riddles

AI - Artificial Intelligence, by way of computer programs that simulate human like responses

AmphiMax-Calypso - Beach launch and recovery system for SeaVax-Calypso seaweed harvesting machines

AmphiMax-Sargasso - Beach launch and recovery system for SeaVax-Sargasso seaweed cleaning machines

Anne - Queen 1665 - 1714

Apple Barrels - Carried on sailing ships to prevent the crew from getting scurvy

Artificial Intelligence, AI

Battle of Ocracoke, The - Where Lt. Robert Maynard boarded the Adventure, and killed the pirate Blackbeard in 1718

Ben Gunn - A marooned pirate who likes cheese

Billy (One Eye) Bones - Is a dead shot marksman, ex SBS Royal Navy sailor, turned pirate adventurer

Blackbeard - Edward Teach, the Queen Anne's Revenge and Adventure

Blackbeard Island - Georgia, is a location where the pirate Edward Teach, may have buried some of his treasure

Black Dog - A pirate

Black Jack - Pirate computer hacker

Black Spot, The - A dreaded pirate sign

British Geographical Society - BGS is a fictional thinkers club situated in Pall Mall, London, England

Calypso - Highly rythmic form of African Kaiso music, origination on French owned plantations, spreading to most Caribbean islands

Captain Sir Henry Morgan - Buccaneer, turned privateer and Governor of Jamaica

Captain Flint - Long John Silver's pet parrot

Captain Nemo - AI autopilot named after Jules Verne's character in 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

Caribbean Sea - A to Z of the West Indies islands: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin

                       Cayman, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Hispaniola, Jamaica

                       Martinique, Montserrat, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Roatan, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin

                       Saint Vincent, Sint Maarten, Tortuga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos, Virgin US

Characters - Blackbeard's Curse & Pirates Gold

Charles I King of England - 1600 to 1647

Charles II King of England - 1630 to 1685

Charles III - King of England 2022, COP 27, Buckingham Palace

Christopher Columbus - Ferdinand of Aragon & Isabella of Castile

Coracle - A small round boat

Davy Jones's Locker - The sailors devil, a chest at the bottom of the sea signifying passing and their final resting place

Dead (Man's) Chest Island - British Virgin Islands - Where Blackbeard marooned his unruly pirates in folklore

Dead men tell no tales - Pirates language or code for giving reason to kill another pirate for careless talk

Diamonds - Highly prized gemstones as treasure favoured by pirates

Doubloons - Coins minted from solid gold

Elizabeth Swann - A high tech zero emission, autonomous ship, with AI

England - Home of the the Admiralty, British naval forces who operated ships in the Caribbean and all over the world

Fifteen men on a dead man's chest, yo, ho, ho, and a bottle of rum

Fortress - A fortified building or town, typically sporting cannons and turrets

Gold - Coins and bullion treasure of pirates

Graphics - Blackbeard's Curse and Pirates Gold

Guineas - Gold coins

HAL - The world's most advanced AI, artificially intelligent ship management supercomputer

Henry VII - Eighth King named Henry, English tyrannical (divine) ruler, beheadings without trial & six wives

Hispaniola - Schooner used to sail the Skeleton Island - Island of Hispaniola

Hurricanes - Tropical revolving storms, very high winds

Hydrofoils - Underwater wings that lift boats and small ships clear of the waves, for hull efficiency

Islands, Caribbean

Jewels - Precious gemstones, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, pearls, jewellery

Jim Hawkins - Cabin boy

John Storm - A conservationist and amateur anthropologist, who is an ocean adventurer

Kingston - The capital of Jamaica

Lieutenant Robert Maynard - British Royal Navy, HMS Pearl, the man who killed Blackbeard

Londoner's Island (Lunging) Isle of Shoals, Blackbeard & buried treasure, History Channel

Long John Silver - Pirate captain

Lord James Huntington - English aristocrat and professional treasure hunter

Maps - Treasure charts, usually written on waterproof velum or parchment

Movies - Ten and more of the best and worst Treasure Island films (so far)

Navigation - A skill that all pirates and naval officers needed to learn before the invention of GPS

Old Providence - Isla de Providencia, Columbia

Orgies - Port Royal and other pirate locations where morals are very low

Pearls - Valuable pirate tender

Pieces of Eight - The Spanish dollar is a coin made of silver

Pirates - Sailors who scour the sea for ships they can plunder

Plum Point - Bath Creek, North Carolina is a site where Blackbeard may have buried part of his treasure

Port Royal - The former capital of Jamaica, that got washed into the sea by a tsunami

Queen Anne of England 1665 - 1714

Queen Anne's Revenge - Former French slave traders ship captured by Blackbeard, rediscovered wreckage historic site

Queen Anne's War - Spanish war of Succession, inter colonial fight for control of the American colonies

Robert Louis Stevenson - Scottish novelist: Treasure Island, Kidnapped, The Curious Case of Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde

Robin John Longstride - A pirate known as 'John Long' to his shipmates. He has a parrot named Captain Flint and cooks

ROVs - Remotely Operated Vehicles, typically smaller underwater vessels for marine survey and salvage work

Rubies - Red gemstones highly prized by pirates

Rum - The devil drink of Jamaica, Captain Morgan's Rum

SeaVax-Calypso - Floating, navigable seaweed harvesting machines for the Caribbean Sea

SeaVax-Sargasso - Floating seaweed harvesting machines for the Caribbean Island, serviced by AmphiMax-Sargasso launchers

Skeleton Island - An uncharted location known only to a few pirates, inhabited by numerous well positioned human skeletons

Sargassum - US Virgin Islands declares a state of emergency April 2022

Scott Tremaine - Ship's captain and explorer

Script - Blackbeard's Curse and Pirates Gold

Silver - Coins and bullion, pirates treasure, pieces of eight

Sir Rodney Baskerville - Professor of maritime history, specializing in shipwrecks and recovery

Skeleton Island The Map, Old Providence

Smithsonian Magazine - March 2011, did archaeologists uncover Blackbeard's treasure on the Queen Anne's Revenge

Sovereigns - British solid gold minted coins, Henry VIII, 1489

Spain - Spanish treasure ships, laden with gold and gemstones

Squire Trelawny - Treasure hunt sponsor

Stealth Ships - Vessels (including aircraft) that are invisible to radar

Storms - Hurricanes, rough seas and tornadoes

Sugar Plantations - Farms where cane is grown to produce sugar

The Goonies - A treasure hunting yarn from 1985 based on the pirates map of One Eyed Willy

The Old Anchor Inn, Bristol

Top Ten Films - 10 best Treasure Island movies index

Tortuga - A favourite pirate haunt of old

Treasure Island Movies - 1934 MGM1950 RKO Walt Disney Pictures, 202? Universal & Mandeville

Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson


PART ONE - The Old Buccaneer

1. The Old Sea-dog at the “Admiral Benbow”
2. Black Dog Appears and Disappears
3. The Black Spot
4. The Sea-chest
5. The Last of the Blind Man
6. The Captain’s Papers

PART TWO - The Sea-cook

7. I Go to Bristol
8. At the Sign of the Spy-glass
9. Powder and Arms
10. The Voyage
11. What I Heard in the Apple Barrel
12. Council of War

PART THREE - My Shore Adventure

13. How My Shore Adventure Began
14. The First Blow
15. The Man of the Island

PART FOUR - The Stockade

16. Narrative Continued by the Doctor: How the Ship Was Abandoned
17. Narrative Continued by the Doctor: The Jolly-boat’s Last Trip
18. Narrative Continued by the Doctor: End of the First Day’s Fighting
19. Narrative Resumed by Jim Hawkins: The Garrison in the Stockade
20. Silver’s Embassy
21. The Attack

PART FIVE - My Sea Adventure

22. How My Sea Adventure Began
23. The Ebb-tide Runs
24. The Cruise of the Coracle
25. I Strike the Jolly Roger
26. Israel Hands
27. “Pieces of Eight”

PART SIX - Captain Silver

28. In the Enemy’s Camp
29. The Black Spot Again
30. On Parole
31. The Treasure-hunt - Flint’s Pointer
32. The Treasure-hunt - The Voice Among the Trees
33. The Fall of a Chieftain
34. And Last


Treasure Trove - Who owns the treasure that is found buried or stashed away. Is it you or the State?

Trisha Lippard - Cleopatra's alias, to protect her royal identity

Tsunami - A giant wave usually triggered by seismic activity such as an earthquake

Underwater Kingdom - Innerspace, is the opposite of outerspace

UNESCO - World Heritage Sites, top ten United Nations Educational Scientific & Cultural Organization

Universal & Mandeville Studios - Treasure Island under development Oct 2019 >>>

Velum - Animal skin version of parchment

Virginia Beach - Chesapeake, North Carolina, is a spot where Blackbeard may have buried some of his treasure

Voodoo - The practice of black and white magic, now a recognised religion for its healing powers

Water - Traditionally kept in a barrel, but subject to 

William Gray - Former US Navy Captain

William V 








Long John Silver: The one-legged cook aboard the Hispaniola. Silver is the secret leader of the pirates. He is deceitful and greedy, but also charismatic, and his physical and mental strength are impressive. He is kind toward Jim and appears genuinely fond of him. Silver was based in part on Stevenson's friend and mentor William Ernest Henley.

Dr. David Livesey: A doctor and magistrate; he narrates a few chapters of the novel. He exhibits common sense and rationality, and is fair-minded, treating wounded pirates just as he does his own comrades. Some years prior to the events of the novel, he had participated in the Battle of Fontenoy, during which he was wounded in action.

Captain Alexander Smollett: The captain of the Hispaniola. He is savvy and is rightly suspicious of the crew that Trelawney hires. Smollett is a real professional, taking his job seriously and displaying skill as a negotiator. Smollett believes in rules and does not like Jim's disobedience, but later in the novel states that he and Jim shouldn't go to sea together again as Jim was too much of the born favourite for him.


Squire John Trelawney: A wealthy landowner who arranges the voyage to the island. He is too trusting and is duped by Silver into hiring pirates as the ship's crew.

Billy Bones: An old seaman who resides at the Admiral Benbow Inn. He used to be Flint's first mate, and is surly and rude. He exhorts Jim to be on the lookout for a one-legged man. A treasure map in his possession set the events of the novel in motion.

Ben Gunn: A former member of Captain Flint's crew who was found on Treasure Island, having been marooned there by Flint's crew several years earlier. He is described as being "insane", at least partially, and has a craving for cheese.














    2024 is the 150th anniversary of Jules Verne's hydrogen prediction    Herman Melville wrote many magnificent ocean classics    




Contemporary, great classic writers & kindred spirits: Robert Louis Stevenson, Jules Verne and Herman Melville.





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