Thursday, 21 February 2008

Treasure Island

Birmingham Stage Company tour

Swallows and Amazons is steeped with references to Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. Captain Flint, his parrot and his treasure chest immediately come to mind. In Swallowdale we discover that a previous generation of explorers had already requisitioned Peter Duck's cave for Ben Gunn. Thanks to Disney and Brian Henson's Muppet Treasure Island many children have been made familiar with Stevenson's story, but you can't beat the original for its gripping plot and spine tingling atmosphere.

If you haven't got Treasure Island on your bookshelf an e-text version of the book is available here. The Birmingham Stage Company are on tour with an excellent stage adaptation. See here for dates.


If sailor tales to sailor tunes,
   Storm and adventure, heat and cold,
If schooners, islands, and maroons,
   And buccaneers, and buried gold,
And all the old romance, retold
   Exactly in the ancient way,
Can please, as me they pleased of old,
   The wiser youngsters of today:

So be it, and fall on! If not,
   If studious youth no longer crave,
His ancient appetites forgot,
   Kingston, or Ballantyne the brave,
Cooper of the wood and wave:
   So be it, also! And may I
And all my pirates share the grave
   Where these and their creations lie!

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