Treasure Island

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Genres: Best books ever listing
Language: English
Type: Digital

Treasure Island is an adventure novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, narrating a tale of "buccaneers and buried gold". It is considered a coming-of-age story and is noted for its atmosphere, characters, and action. It was originally serialised from 1881 to 1882 in the children's magazine Young Folks, 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.

Plot Summary

The novel opens with young Jim Hawkins, an innkeeper's son, who encounters an old, one-legged sea dog named Billy Bones. Billy Bones, fearing men hunting him, takes up to lodging at the Admiral Benbow Inn. He is tormented by his conscience and constantly speaks of Captain Flint, a dreaded pirate. As fear and exhaustion overtake him, Billy Bones gives Jim a treasure map. After Billy Bone's death, Jim goes to fetch Dr. Livesey, the local physician, and the pair discover the map, which they later show to Squire Trelawney, a local aristocrat. The three decide to mount a seafaring expedition to find the treasure, hiring Long John Silver, a one-legged seafaring man, as their sailing master.

Soon after embarking on the Hispaniola, Jim overhears a conversation between Silver and another crew member, revealing that Silver and some of the other crew members are actually pirates who plan to mutiny and seize the treasure for themselves. During a storm, the pirates put their plan into action, overwhelming the loyal crew members and leaving only Jim and a handful of others, including the ship's young cabin boy, Dick, still loyal to the map's owners.

The mutineers land on the island where the treasure is buried, but Jim escapes from them and eventually joins forces with Ben Gunn, an old marooned pirate who also seeks the treasure. Jim returns to the Hispaniola, now in the hands of the mutineers, and scuttles the ship, preventing the pirates from using it to escape the island.

Jim and Ben Gunn confront the mutineers, who have also been divided among themselves. By the end of the story, most of the pirates are dead, and the rest, including Silver, have fled the island, empty-handed. Jim leaves the island with the treasure, which is shared among the surviving loyal crew members and Dr. Livesey, who uses his share to improve the Admiral Benbow Inn.


Treasure Island explores a range of themes, including:

  • The nature of good and evil
  • The importance of loyalty
  • The dangers of greed
  • The pursuit of adventure
  • The power of friendship


The novel features a cast of memorable characters, including:

  • Jim Hawkins: The protagonist of the novel, Jim is a young boy who finds himself caught up in a treasure hunt.
  • Long John Silver: The ship's sailing master, Silver is a crafty and cunning pirate who leads the mutiny.
  • Ben Gunn: An old marooned pirate who helps Jim find the treasure.
  • Dr. Livesey: The local physician, Dr. Livesey is a kind and intelligent man who helps Jim and the other loyal crew members.
  • Squire Trelawney: A local aristocrat, Squire Trelawney is the one who finances the treasure hunt.


Treasure Island is considered one of the greatest adventure novels ever written. It has been translated into numerous languages and adapted into films, television series, and operas. The novel continues to be studied and discussed by scholars and readers alike.

Here are some of the novel's most famous quotes:

  • "Fifteen men on dead man's chest— Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!"

  • "Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!"

  • "They are a company of honest men—for pirates!"

  • "I knew I’d cross him sooner or later."

  • "The sea has never been friendly to man. At most it has been tolerantly indifferent."


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