TREASURE ISLAND - complete online book

The Famous Pirate Adventure by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search



Share page  


Previous Contents Next

INTRODUCTION
a gain. The text is full of effective subjects and the period and costumes romantic in the extreme. We know that the author was greatly disappointed at the mild approval given to the story in its serial publication. It is a fair question whether this may not have been due to the absence of pictures.
While every character is singularly vivid—witness Long John Silver, whose escape we are rather glad of in spite of his villainy— yet the illustrator must read and reread the text many times in order to obtain his suggestions. Dickens, Scott, Cooper, Dumas, and most of the great story-tellers give minute descriptions of their characters when they are introduced. Not so with Steven­son. In the most subtle manner each character is developed by masterly touches as the story goes on until the living personage is complete.
It has therefore been a task of patient scrutiny as well as of love and enthusiasm to interpret these picturesque dramatic characters who have lived with me so closely that I part com­pany with regret. At least I am sure that if readers find half the pleasure in this edition which the maker of the illustrations has had its possession will be accounted a necessity.
The frontispiece portrait of Stevenson is from a life study in chalk by the late president of the National Academy of Design, John W. Alexander, who kindly gave the illustrator permission to use it only a few days before his untimely death.
Louis Rhead.
New York, 1915
Previous Contents Next