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Stevenson, Robert Louis

Kidnapped (1886)

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Kidnapped is a historical novel that tells of the boy David Balfour's pursuit of his inheritance and his alliance with Alan Breck in the intrigues of Jacobite troubles in Scotland. The solid historical and environmental background, and the realism with which the physical hardship suffered is described, give the novel an immediacy which perhaps explains the hold it has on some readers, given the simple narrative line and spare plotting. Indeed, the plot only takes a dominant role at the beginning and end of the novel.

Kidnapped was well received and sold well while Stevenson was alive, but after his death many viewed it with scepticism seeing it as simply a "boys' novel". By the mid-20th century, however, it had regained critical approval and study. Kidnapped is Robert Louis Stevenson's fourth full-length novel. It has been adapted for film and television many times.


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