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Novel by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson
As one of the most frequently dramatised of all novels, Treasure Island was originally considered a coming-of-age story and is noted for its atmosphere, characters, and action. It was originally serialised in the children's magazine Young Folks from 1881 through 1882 under the title Treasure Island or the mutiny of the Hispaniola, credited to the pseudonym "Captain George North". It was first published as a book on 14 November 1883, by Cassell & Co.
Stevenson's map of Treasure Island
Jim Hawkins hiding in the apple-barrel, listening to the pirates
An old sailor named Billy Bones comes to lodge in the rural Admiral Benbow Inn on the Bristol Channel, in England. He tells the innkeeper's son, Jim Hawkins, to keep a lookout for "a one-legged seafaring man". A former shipmate, Black Dog, confronts Bones and engages in a violent fight with him. After Black Dog is run off, a blind beggar, Pew, visits to give Bones "the black spot" as a summons to share a map leading to buried treasure. Shortly thereafter, Bones suffers a stroke and dies. Pew and his accomplices attack the inn, but Jim and his mother escape while taking some money and a mysterious packet from Bones' sea chest. Pew is then trampled to death by excise officers. Inside, Jim and his mother find a map of an island on which the infamous pirate Captain Flint hid his treasure. Jim shows the map to the local physician Dr. Livesey and the squireJohn Trelawney, and they decide to make an expedition to the island, with Jim serving as a cabin boy. They set sail on Trelawney's schooner, the Hispaniola, under Captain Smollett. Much of the crew, as it is later revealed, are pirates who had served under Captain Flint's ship, the Walrus, with the most notable being the ship's one-legged cook Long John Silver. Jim, sitting in an apple-barrel, overhears their plan to mutiny after the salvage of the treasure and to assassinate the captain and the loyal men.
After arriving at the island, Jim joins the shore party and begins to explore the island. He meets a marooned pirate named Ben Gunn, who was also a former member of Flint's crew. The situation comes to a head after the mutineers arm themselves, and Smollett's men take refuge in an abandoned stockade. During an attack on the stockade, Jim finds his way there and re-joins the crew. Jim manages to make his way to the Hispaniola and cuts the ship's anchorage, allowing the ship to drift along the ebb tide. Jim boards the Hispaniola and encounters Israel Hands, who had severely been injured in a dispute with one of his companions. Hands helps Jim beach the schooner in the northern bay, but then attempts to kill Jim with a knife. Jim escapes, climbs into the shrouds of the ship and shoots his pursuer.
Jim goes back ashore and returns to the stockade, where he is horrified to find only Silver and the pirates. Silver prevents Jim's immediate death and tells Jim that when everyone found the ship was gone, the captain's party agreed to a treaty whereby they gave up the stockade and the map. In the morning, the doctor arrives to treat the wounded and sick pirates and tells Silver to look out for trouble when they find the site of the treasure. After he leaves, Silver and the others set out with the map, taking Jim along as hostage. They encounter a skeleton, arms oriented toward the treasure, which unnerves the party. Ben Gunn also scares the crew by shouting out Captain Flint's last words from the forest, making the pirates believe Flint's ghost is actually haunting the island. Eventually, they find the treasure cache empty. The pirates nearly charge at Silver and Jim, but shots are fired by the ship's command along with Gunn, from ambush. Livesey explains that Gunn had already found the treasure and taken it to his cave. The expedition members load much of the treasure onto the ship and sail away. At their first port in Spanish America, where they will sign on more crew, Silver steals a bag of money and escapes. The rest sail back to Bristol and divide up the treasure. Jim says there is more left on the island, but he for one will not undertake another voyage to recover it.
Stevenson deliberately leaves the timeframe of the novel obscure, with Hawkins writing in it that he takes up his pen "in the year of grace 17--". Stevenson's map of the island includes the annotations Treasure Island 1 August 1750 J.F. and Given by above J.F. to Mr W. Bones Maste of ye Walrus Savannah this twenty July 1754 W B. Other dates mentioned include 1745, the date when Dr. Livesey served as a soldier at Fontenoy, and also a date appearing in Billy Bones' log.
Stevenson conceived the idea of Treasure Island (originally titled: The Sea Cook: A Story for Boys) from a map of an imaginary island drawn by Stevenson and his stepson Lloyd Osbourne on a rainy day in Braemar, Scotland. Stevenson had returned from his first stay in North America, with memories of poverty, illness, and adventure (including his recent marriage), and a warm reconciliation between his parents had been established. Stevenson himself said of the idea that, "it was to be a story for boys; no need of psychology or fine writing; and I had a boy at hand to be a touchstone. Women were excluded and then I had an idea for Long John Silver from which I promised myself funds of entertainment; to take an admired friend of mine, to deprive him of all his finer qualities and higher graces of temperament, and to leave him with nothing but his strength, his courage, his quickness, and his magnificent geniality, and to try to express these in terms of the culture of a raw tarpaulin".
Completing 15 chapters in many days, Stevenson was interrupted by illness and, after leaving Scotland, continued working on the first draft outside London, where his father provided additional encouragement, as both discussed points of the tale; Stevenson's father suggested elements that he included in his account.
Two general types of sea novels were popular during the 19th century: the navy yarn, which places a capable officer in adventurous situations amid realistic settings and historical events; and 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 legendary 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 the strong influence of Defoe's classic. However, other authors, in the mid 19th-century, continued this work, including James Fenimore Cooper's The Pilot (1823). During the same period, Edgar Allan Poe wrote, "MS Found in a Bottle" (1833) and the intriguing tale of buried treasure, "The Gold-Bug" (1843). All of these works influenced Stevenson's end product.
One month after he conceived of The Sea Cook, chapters began to appear in the pages of Young Folks magazine. Eventually, the entire novel ran in 17 weekly instalments from October 1, 1881, through January 28, 1882. Later the book was republished as the novel Treasure Island and the book proved to be Stevenson's first financial and critical success. William Gladstone (1809-1898), the zealous Liberal politician who served four terms as British prime minister between 1868 and 1894, was one of the book's biggest fans.
Half of Stevenson's original manuscripts are lost, including those of Treasure Island, The Black Arrow, and The Master of Ballantrae. Stevenson's heirs sold Stevenson's papers during World War I; many of Stevenson's documents were auctioned off in 1918.
Jim Hawkins: The first-person point of view, of almost the entire novel. Jim is the son of an innkeeper near Bristol, England, and is probably in his mid teens. He is eager and enthusiastic to go to sea and hunt for treasure. He is a modest narrator, never boasting of the remarkable courage and heroism he consistently displays. Jim is often impulsive and impetuous, but he exhibits increasing sensitivity and wisdom as the journey progresses.
Long John Silver: The cook on the voyage to Treasure Island. Silver is the secret organiser of the pirate crew. His physical and emotional strength are impressive. Silver is deceitful and disloyal, greedy and visceral, and does not care about human relations. Yet he is always kind toward Jim and genuinely fond of the boy. Silver is a powerful mixture of charisma and self-destructiveness, individualism and recklessness. The one-legged Silver was based in part on Stevenson's friend and mentor William Ernest Henley.
Dr. David Livesey: The local doctor and magistrate. Dr. Livesey is wise and practical, and Jim respects but is not inspired by him. Livesey narrates a few chapters of the novel. Some years previously in 1745, he had participated in the Battle of Fontenoy, during which he was wounded in action. Livesey exhibits common sense and rational thought while on the island. He is fair-minded, magnanimously agreeing to treat the pirates with just as much care as his own wounded men. As his name suggests, Livesey represents the steady, modest virtues of everyday life rather than fantasy, dream, or adventure.
Captain Alexander Smollett: The captain of the voyage to Treasure Island. Captain Smollett is savvy and is rightly suspicious of the crew Trelawney has hired. Smollett is a real professional, taking his job seriously and displaying significant skill as a negotiator. Like Livesey, Smollett is too competent and reliable to be an inspirational figure for Jim's teenage mind. 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 local wealthy landowner; his name suggests he has Cornish origins (a traditional Cornish rhyme states "By Tre, Pol and Pen, Ye shall know all Cornishmen"). Trelawney arranges the voyage to the island to find the treasure. Trelawney is excessively trustful, and is duped by Silver into hiring pirates as his crew.
Billy Bones: The old seaman who resides at Jim's parents' inn. Billy, who used to be Flint's first mate, is surly and rude. He hires Jim to be on the lookout for a one-legged man, thus involving the young Jim in the pirate life. Billy's sea chest and treasure map set the whole adventure in motion. His failure to pay his inn bills symbolizes the pirates' general opposition to law, order, and civilisation. His illness and his fondness for rum symbolise the weak and self-destructive aspects of the pirate lifestyle. He dies of a stroke as a result of drinking too much rum.
Benjamin "Ben" Gunn: A former member of Flint's crew who became half insane after being marooned for three years on Treasure Island, having convinced another ship's crew that he was capable of finding Flint's treasure. Helps Jim by giving him the location of his homemade boat and kills two of the mutineers. After Dr. Livesey gives him what he most craves (cheese), Gunn reveals that he has found the treasure. In Spanish America, he lets Silver escape, and in England spends his share of the treasure (£1,000) in 19 days, becoming a beggar until he becomes keeper at a lodge and a church singer "on Sundays and holy days".
In the semi-official prequel story Porto Bello Gold by Arthur D. Howden Smith, Ben Gunn was the servant of captain Andrew "Rip-Rap" Murray, Flint's associate and the mastermind behind the capture of the treasure ship Santissima Trinidad, whence the buried treasure was taken. Murray described Ben Gunn as a "half-wit" whom he kept as servant specifically because he considered him intellectually incapable of treachery. After Flint's crew killed Murray and overpowered his crew, Ben Gunn went to serve Flint and fled the Walrus in Savannah after Flint's death.
Alan: A sailor who does not mutiny. He is killed by the mutineers for his loyalty and his dying scream is heard across the island.
Allardyce: One of the six members of Flint's Crew who, after burying the treasure and silver and building the blockhouse on Treasure Island, are all killed by Flint, who returns to his ship alone. Allardyce's body is lined up by Flint as a compass marker to the cache.
In Porto Bello Gold, one sailor on Flint's ship is named "Tom Allardyce". A lanky fellow with rather long, yellow hair, he is an antagonistic ringleader of sailors opposing Flint in at least two "fo'c'sle councils". Flint thinks they may present him with the Black Spot; he eventually challenges Allardyce to bring six friends and bury the treasure together.
According to The Adventures of Ben Gunn, his first name was "Nic", he was surgeon on Flint's crew, and Ben Gunn was his servant and friend from back home.
Job Anderson: The ship's boatswain and one of the leaders of the mutiny. He participates in the storming of the blockhouse and is killed by Gray while attacking Jim. He is probably one of Flint's old pirate hands, though this is never stated. Along with Hands and Merry, he tipped a Black Spot on Silver and forced Silver to start the mutiny before the treasure was found.
Mr. Arrow: The first mate of the Hispaniola. He is an alcoholic and is useless as a first mate. He disappears before they get to the island and his position is filled by Job Anderson. Silver had secretly given Mr. Arrow alcohol and he fell drunkenly overboard on a stormy night. In his BBC adaptation of 1977, John Lucarotti gives him the first name "Joshua".
Black Dog: Formerly a member of Flint's pirate crew, later one of Pew's companions who visits the Admiral Benbow to confront Billy Bones. He is spotted by Jim in Silver's tavern and slips out to be chased by two of Silver's men (in order to maintain the ruse that Silver and his men are not associated with him). Two fingers are missing from his left hand.
Blind Pew: A vicious, deadly, and sinister blind beggar who served as a member of Flint's crew. Despite his blindness, he proves to be a dangerous fighter and can even be considered a ringleader amongst his fellow crewmen. He is the second messenger to approach Billy Bones and the one to deliver the Black Spot. He is trampled to death by the horses of revenue officers riding to assist Jim and his mother after the raid on their inn. Silver claims Pew spent his share of Flint's treasure at a rate of £1,200 per year, and that for two years until his accident at the "Admiral Benbow", he begged, stole, and murdered. Stevenson avoided predictability by making the two most fearsome characters a blind man and an amputee. In the play Admiral Guinea (1892), Stevenson gives him the full name "David Pew". Stevenson's novel Kidnapped (1886) also features a dangerous blind man.
In Porto Bello Gold, it is Pew who fatally stabs captain Murray, working in concert with Long John Silver. From the context, it seems that Silver means Pew when he addresses one man as "Ezra" just prior.
Mr. Dance: Chief revenue officer (titled Supervisor) who ascends with his men upon the Admiral Benbow, driving out the pirates, and saving Jim Hawkins and his mother. He then takes Hawkins to see the squire and the doctor.
Dogger: One of Mr. Dance's associates, who doubles Hawkins on his horse to the squire's house.
Captain J. Flint: The pirate captain of his ship, the Walrus. After robbing and looting towns and ships among the Spanish Main, in August 1750, he took six of his own crew onto Treasure Island. After building a stockade and burying the bulk of his looted treasure, he killed all six men. In July 1754, he died at Savannah, Georgia, of cyanosis, caused by drinking too much rum. While dying, he gave his treasure map to Billy Bones. Long John Silver's parrot is named after Captain Flint. Several members of his crew figure in the story.
Abraham Gray: A ship's carpenter's mate on the Hispaniola. He is almost incited to mutiny but remains loyal to the Squire's side when asked to do so by Captain Smollett. He saves Hawkins' life by killing Job Anderson during an attack on the stockade, and he helps shoot the mutineers at the rifled treasure cache. He later escapes the island together with Jim Hawkins, Dr. Livesey, Squire Trelawney, Captain Smollett, Long John Silver, and Ben Gunn. He spends his part of the treasure on his education, marries, and becomes part owner of a full-rigged ship.
Israel Hands: The ship's coxswain and Flint's old gunner. He tries to murder Jim Hawkins, who shoots him in self-defence.
Mr. and Mrs. Hawkins: The parents of Jim Hawkins. Mr. Hawkins dies shortly after the beginning of the story.
John Hunter: A manservant of Squire Trelawney. Dr. Livesey considers him to be the most steady and capable of Livesey's servants to have in a fight. He accompanies Trelawney to the island but is later knocked unconscious in an attack on the stockade. He dies of his injuries while unconscious.
John: A mutineer who is injured while trying to storm the blockhouse. He is later shown with a bandaged head and ends up being killed at the rifled treasure cache.
Dick Johnson: The youngest of the mutineers, who has a Bible. The pirates use one of its pages to make a Black Spot for Silver, only to have him predict bad luck on Dick for sacrilege. Soon becoming mortally ill with malaria, Dick ends up being marooned on the island after the deaths of George Merry and John.
Richard Joyce: One of the manservants of Squire Trelawney who accompany the squire to the island, a mild-mannered valet inexperienced in firearms. He is shot through the head and killed by a mutineer during an attack on the stockade.
George Merry: A mutinous and hostile member of Silver's crew, who disobeys orders and occasionally challenges Silver's authority. He launches the mutiny prematurely, forcing Long John to flee to the island with Jim as an improvised hostage. With Anderson and Hands, he forces Silver to attack the blockhouse instead of waiting for the treasure to be found. Later killed at the empty cache just as he is about to kill both Silver and Hawkins.
Tom Morgan: An ex-pirate from Flint's old crew. He ends up marooned on the island with Dick and one other mutineer.
O'Brien: A mutineer who survives the attack on the boathouse and escapes. He is later killed by Israel Hands in a drunken fight on the Hispaniola.
Tom Redruth: The gamekeeper of Squire Trelawney. He accompanies the Squire to the island but is shot and killed by the mutineers during an attack on the stockade.
Tom: An honest sailor who is killed by Silver for refusing to join the mutiny.
Among other minor characters whose names are not revealed are the four pirates who were killed in an attack on the stockade along with Job Anderson; the pirate killed by the honest men minus Jim Hawkins before the attack on the stockade; the pirate shot by Squire Trelawney when aiming at Israel Hands, who later died of his injuries; and the pirate marooned on the island along with Tom Morgan and Dick.
Real pirates and piracy
Historian Luis Junco suggests that Treasure Island is in fact a marriage of the story of the murder of Captain George Glas on board the Earl of Sandwich in 1765 and the taking of the ship Walrus off the island of La Graciosa near Tenerife. The pirates of La Graciosa buried their treasure there before they were all killed during a bloody battle with the British navy. The treasure was never recovered.
In his book Pirates of the Carraigin, David Kelly deals with the piracy and murder of Captain Glas and others on board a ship travelling from Tenerife to London by the Ship's Cook and his gang. The perpetrators of this crime also buried the considerable treasure they had stolen but most of it was later recovered. They were all executed in Dublin in 1766. In his research, Kelly proved that Stevenson was a neighbour of the named victim in Edinburgh, and so was intimately aware of what was a scandal at the time, from an early age.
Stevenson and his family were even members of the church congregation set up by the victim's father. Although he never visited Ireland, Stevenson based at least two other books, Kidnapped and Catriona on real crimes that were perpetrated in Dublin. These were all reported in detail in The Gentleman's Magazine, published in Dublin and Edinburgh.
The name "Israel Hands" was taken from that of a real pirate in Blackbeard's crew, whom Blackbeard maimed (by shooting him in the knee) simply to ensure that his crew remained in terror of him. Allegedly, Hands was taken ashore to be treated for his injury and was not at Blackbeard's last fight (the incident is depicted in Tim Powers' novel On Stranger Tides), and this alone saved him from the gallows. Supposedly, he later became a beggar in England.
Silver refers to "three hundred and fifty thousand" pieces of eight at the "fishing up of the wrecked plate ships". This remark conflates two related events: first, the salvage of treasure from the 1715 Treasure Fleet which was wrecked off the coast of Florida in a hurricane; second, the seizure of 350,000 salvaged pieces of eight the following year (out of several million) by privateer Henry Jennings. This event is mentioned in the introduction to Johnson'sGeneral History of the Pyrates.
Silver refers to a ship's surgeon from Roberts' crew who amputated his leg and was later hanged at Cape Coast Castle, a British fortification on the Gold Coast of Africa. The records of the trial of Roberts' men list Peter Scudamore as the chief surgeon of Roberts' ship Royal Fortune. Scudamore was found guilty of willingly serving with Roberts' pirates and various related criminal acts, as well as attempting to lead a rebellion to escape once he had been apprehended. He was, as Silver relates, hanged, in 1722.
Stevenson refers to the Viceroy of the Indies, a ship sailing from Goa, India (then a Portuguese colony), which was taken by Edward England off Malabar while John Silver was serving aboard England's ship the Cassandra. No such exploit of England's is known, nor any ship by the name of the Viceroy of the Indies. However, in April 1721, the captain of the Cassandra, John Taylor (originally England's second in command who had marooned him for being insufficiently ruthless), together with his pirate partner, Olivier Levasseur, captured the vessel Nostra Senhora do Cabo near Réunion island in the Indian Ocean. The Portuguese galleon was returning from Goa to Lisbon with the Conde da Ericeira, the recently retired Viceroy of Portuguese India, aboard. The viceroy had much of his treasure with him, making this capture one of the richest pirate hauls ever. This is possibly the event that Stevenson referred to, though his (or Silver's) memory of the event seems to be slightly confused. The Cassandra was last heard of in 1723 at Portobelo, Panama, a place that also briefly figures in Treasure Island as "Portobello".
The preceding two references are inconsistent, as the Cassandra (and presumably Silver) was in the Indian Ocean during the time that Scudamore was surgeon on board the Royal Fortune, in the Gulf of Guinea.
Treasure Island was in part inspired by R. M. Ballantyne's The Coral Island, which Stevenson admired for its "better qualities." Stevenson alludes to Ballantyne in the epigraph at the beginning of Treasure Island, "To the Hesitating Purchaser", "...If studious youth no longer crave, His ancient appetites forgot, Kingston, or Ballantyne the brave, Or Cooper of the wood and wave..."
Dr. Livesey may have been named for Joseph Livesey (1794-1884), a famous 19th-century temperance advocate, founder of the tee-total "Preston Pledge". In the novel, Dr. Livesey warns the drunkard Billy Bones that "the name of rum for you is death."
Cocos Island off Costa Rica has many similarities with the fictional treasure island. British trader Captain William Thompson buried the stolen treasury of Peru there in 1820; an original inventory showed 113 gold religious statues (one a life-sized Virgin Mary), 200 chests of jewels, 273 swords with jeweled hilts, 1,000 diamonds, solid-gold crowns, 150 chalices, and hundreds of gold and silver bars. The real treasure has never been found, despite more than 300 expeditions to the island. Stevenson mentions the buried treasure and Captain Thompson in an 1881 letter to W. E. Henley, where he also provides the earliest known title for the book: "The Sea Cook, or Treasure Island: a Story for Boys".
Dead Chest Island, a barren rock in the British Virgin Islands, which Stevenson found mentioned in Charles Kingsley's At Last: A Christmas in the West Indies, and which he said "was the seed" for the phrase "Dead Man's Chest".
Osborn Island (now Nienstedt Island) in the Manasquan River in Brielle, New Jersey. Stevenson supposedly visited there in May 1888 (five years after writing Treasure Island) and christened it "Treasure Island"
The Llandoger Trow in Bristol is claimed to be the inspiration for the Admiral Benbow Inn, though the inn is described in the book as being in a rural area and it is necessary to travel to Bristol. There is an Admiral Benbow Inn in Penzance, Cornwall. Stevenson visited Cornwall and Penzance between 7 and 16 August 1877 and this may have inspired him to feature the Inn in Treasure Island.
The Hole in the Wall, in Bristol, is claimed to be the Spyglass Tavern.
The Pirate's House in Savannah, Georgia, is where Captain Flint is claimed to have spent his last days, and his ghost is claimed to haunt the property.
Sequels, prequels, and worldbuilding
Porto Bello Gold (1924), a prequel by A. D. Howden Smith that was written with explicit permission from Stevenson's executor, tells the origin of the buried treasure and recasts many of Stevenson's pirates in their younger years, giving the hidden treasure some Jacobite antecedents not mentioned in the original.
Return To Treasure Island (1986), written by Ivor Dean, Robert S. Baker, and John Goldsmith, is a HTV television series that features Silver, Hawkins, and Gunn.
a 1992 animation version, and a 1996 and 1998 TV version
Black Sails (2014-2017), a prequel drama series by Robert Levine and Jonathan E. Steinberg, tells the story of Captain Flint and John Silver leading up to the Treasure Island story. The series is said to take place 20 years before the events of the book, in 1715; however this is actually 40 years before the dates given by Stevenson. The series consists of four seasons.
Admiral Guinea (publ. 1892), a play written by R. L. Stevenson with W. E. Henley, features the blind ex-pirate Pew as a character under the name of "David Pew".
In his collection Fables (1896), Stevenson wrote a vignette called "The Persons of the Tale", in which puppets Captain Smollet and Long John Silver discuss authorship.
In the novel Peter and Wendy (1911) by J. M. Barrie, it is said that Captain Hook is the only man ever feared by the Old Sea Cook (i.e., Long John Silver); Captain Flint and the Walrus are also referenced, among others.
In the animated series Fox's Peter Pan and the Pirates (based, in part, on the original Peter Pan stories), Captain Flint is referenced in the episode "Peter on Trial", as Captain Hook is stated as being the only man that a pirate named Barbecue is stated to fear, with the following statement being that, "even Flint feared Barbecue," referring to Captain Flint from Treasure Island. Barbecue is the crew's nickname for Long John Silver in the novel. In the same episode, Flint is referenced as being the pirate who supposedly conceived of the idea of pirates putting members of their crew or their prisoners as the case might be, on trial in an event called 'Captain's Mast'.
Treasure Planet (2002) -- a reimagined adaptation from Walt Disney Animation Studios set in space, with Long John Silver as a cyborg and many of the original characters re-imagined as aliens and robots, except for Jim, his mother and his father, who are human.
"Treasure Island" (1988) -- an episode of Alvin and the Chipmunks starring Alvin as Jim Hawkins, Dave as Long John Silver, Simon as Dr. Livesey, Theodore as Squire Trelawney, and Brittany as Mrs. Hawkins.
Treasure Island (L'isola del tesoro; 2015) -- an Italian CGI animated series by Rai Fiction and Mondo TV. It mixes the original work with new characters and mythical elements such as voodoo.
There have been over 24 major stage adaptations made, though the number of minor adaptations remains countless. The story is also a popular plot and setting for a traditional pantomime wherein Mrs. Hawkins, Jim's mother is the dame.
In 2007, an adaptation of Treasure Island by Ken Ludwig premiered at the Alley Theatre, Houston; played at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket on London's West End in 2008; and won the AATE Distinguished Play Award for Best Adaptation of the Year.
Treasure Island: the Curse of the Pearl Necklace (2014-15), by Jon Bradfield and Martin Hooper, is an alternative pantomime that included gay, lesbian, and trans characters, and played a sold-out run at London's Above The Stag Theatre.
In July 2011, Bristol Old Vic staged a large-scale outdoor production of Treasure Island outside the theatre on King Street, Bristol directed by Sally Cookson, with music by Benji Bower.
From October 2013 to 2014, Mind the Gap Theatre Company, a leading UK theatre company in working with actors with learning disabilities, embarked on a national tour of Treasure Island, retold with a twist by Olivier award-winning writer Mike Kenny.
In 2013, YouthPlays published Long Joan Silver by Arthur M. Jolly, an adaptation in which all of the pirates are women.
Treasure Island 2020 (November 12, 2019- January 12, 2020) is a 10-part BYU Radio radio adaptation broadcast via The Apple Seed. The audio adventure places the main trio of kids in 2019 and turns it into a time-traveling adventure that involves both them going to the past to look for treasures and Long John Silver, Billy Bones, and others coming to the present through the time vortex. The series is now available as a free podcast.
"La isla del tesoro", Joyas Literarias Juveniles #2 (1970, Editorial Bruguera) -- adapted by José Antonio Vidal Sales and Alfonso Cerón Nuñez; translated and reprinted as "Treasure Island", King Classics #7 (1977, King Features)
L'Île au trésor, de Robert Louis Stevenson (2007-2009, Delcourt) -- adapted by David Chauvel and Fred Simon; translated and reprinted as Papercutz Classics Illustrated Series #5 (2010, Papercutz)
Disney Treasure Island, Starring Mickey Mouse (Oct. 2018, Dark Horse Comics) -- adapted by Teresa Radice, Erin Brady (translation), and Stefano Turconi
The self-titled Ben Gunn Society album released in 2003 presents the story centred on the character of Ben Gunn, based primarily on Chapter XV, "Man of the Island", and other relevant parts of the book.
Scottish glam rock artists The Sensational Alex Harvey Band paid tribute to the book with their 1974 song "The Tomahawk Kid." The song names many of Treasure Island's characters in its lyrics, and was often dedicated to Robert Louis Stevenson in live performance.
The Cursed Island (2014) is an album by Skull & Bones that is based on Treasure Island.
A graphical adventure computer game based loosely on the novel was written by Greg Duddle, published by Mr. Micro (and often rebranded by Commodore) on the Commodore 16, Commodore Plus/4, Commodore 64, and ZX Spectrum. In the game, the player takes the part of Jim Hawkins travelling around the island dispatching pirates with cutlasses before getting the treasure and being chased back to the ship by Long John Silver.
At the beginning of a fifth-season episode of Arthur titled "You Are Arthur" (2000), the titular character is seen reading Treasure Island.
In an episode of Survivor: Heroes vs Villains, titled "Jumping Ship" (2010), the castaways Amanda, Colby and Danielle win an overnight trip to the former home of Robert Louis Stevenson and a screening of the 1934 version of Treasure Island.
In The Way Back (2010), one of the prisoners in the Russian gulag briefly narrates some of Treasure Island to his fellow inmates. He mentions the characters Jim and Long John Silver.
On 13 November 2010, Google commemorated the 160th anniversary of Robert Louis Stevenson's birth by featuring a Google Doodle based on Treasure Island and his other works.
In the teen fiction novel One for Sorrow (2015, Fledgling Press) by Philip Caveney, the main character, Tom Afflick, is reading Treasure Island which serves as the catalyst for his adventure.
In Blade Runner 2049 (2017), Rick Deckard makes a continued allusion to Treasure Island upon first meeting the protagonist; in the scene, he explicitly references Ben Gunn's craving for cheese.
In the finale of season 3 of The Handmaid's Tale (2019), Commander Lawrence reads an excerpt of Treasure Island to a group of runaway children.
^ abHammond, J. R. 1984. "Treasure Island." In A Robert Louis Stevenson Companion, Palgrave Macmillan Literary Companions. London: Palgrave Macmillan. doi:10.1007/978-1-349-06080-1_6.
^Cordingly, David (1995) Under the Black Flag: the romance and reality of life among the pirates; p. 7