Kidnapped; or, the Lad with the Silver Button: The Original Text
Written by: Robert Louis Stevenson
Edited by: Barry Menikoff
Format: 400 pages, 6 x 9, 29 illus., cloth
Release Date: 1999-06-01
About this Book
Robert Louis Stevenson always considered Kidnapped, the tale of 17-year-old David Balfour's adventures in the remote islands and highlands of Scotland with renegade soldier Alan Breck Stewart, to be his greatest novel, but when the classic adventure tale was published in 1886, it was without much of what its author held dear. His English publisher had excised many of the Scottish words and phrases he had used to evoke the suspense of the novel. From simple misreadings to deliberate revisions, subsequent printed editions represented major departures from Stevenson's handwritten text.
Drawing on the unique autograph manuscript in the Huntington Library, Professor Barry Menikoff has faithfully reproduced the text as Stevenson originally wrote it, restoring the author's language and punctuation, as well as the authentic Scots quality of his diction.
This handsome new edition of a novel, whose avowed purpose was the recovery of an important part of Scots history, reproduces for the first time the original drawings that accompanied the text during its serialization in Young Folks. Menikoff's substantial introduction situates the book in its cultural context and enables us to see why Stevenson's contemporaries were both entranced and awed by his achievement. In his extensive notes to the novel, he reveals Stevenson's enormous prestige as an authority on language, both English and Scots, for Kidnapped was widely drawn upon as a reference by lexicographers for the Oxford English Dictionary and the Scottish National Dictionary. Finally, for a tale that charts the "wanderings" of David Balfour over the land and seas of Scotland, this edition is the first to provide a gazetteer of place-names encountered during the course of those travels.
About the Author
Barry Menikoff is professor of English and American literature at the University of Hawaii and one of the world's leading authorities on Robert Louis Stevenson.
"Menikoff's edition of Kidnapped from the autograph manuscript in the Huntington Library . . . is revolutionary in its impact."—Times Literary Supplement
"Undoubtedly one of the finest editions of Kidnapped ever offered.—Library Journal
"Menikoff has reproduced the text exactly as Stevenson wrote it, restoring his idiosyncratic punctuation and recovering the distinctive language that had been altered or deleted."—The Scotsman
"Includes an excellent introduction by Menikoff, a Scots glossary, and reproductions of the original 1886 drawings that appeared when Kidnapped was serialized in a British magazine. A few of the original manuscript pages also are reproduced, which gives an idea of what Menikoff and his publishing predecessors were up against."—The Oregonian
"The context and understanding Menikoff provides is precisely what both the general reader and the most serious Stevenson student would desire. As a result, this carefully researched and meticulously prepared volume offers readers the ultimate standard text that a novel with the reputation of Kidnapped deserves.—CHOICE