Treasure Island

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Treasure Island

Treasure Island is an adventure novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, narrating a tale of “buccaneers and buried gold.” Traditionally considered a coming of age story, its influence on popular lore about pirates can not be overestimated.

Source: Stevenson, R. L. (1883). Treasure Island. London, England: Cassell and Co.

Dedication and Foreword
The author dedicates the novel to a friend and, through poetry, tells the reader to read the book.
Part One: The Old Buccaneer, Chapter 1: The Old Sea-Dog at the Admiral Benbow
Jim Hawkins starts his tale of an island. An old imposing sailor stays at Jim’s father’s inn and terrorizes the other inhabitants. He warns Jim about a one-legged sailor whom he fears and threatens Dr. Livesey with a knife.
Part One: The Old Buccaneer, Chapter 2: Black Dog Appears and Disappears
Black Dog enters the inn and asks for an old friend by the name of Billy Bones. By his description, Jim recognizes him as the old sailor staying with them. Billy tries to kill Blackl Dog with his sword and has a stroke. Dr. Livesey cares for Billy.
Part One: The Old Buccaneer, Chapter 3: The Black Spot
After a glass of rum, Billy’s strength is renewed and plans to outrun his pursuers. Jim’s father dies and Jim encounters a blind man who gives Billy a pirate summons. Billy is worried and suffers a fatal stroke.
Part One: The Old Buccaneer, Chapter 4: The Sea-Chest
Jim tells his mother about the pirate’s plan to take Billy’s sea chest and they leave town to get help, to no avail. They unlock Billy’s chest and discover gold. They take the gold and something wrapped in an oil cloth and run when they hear someone coming.
Part One: The Old Buccaneer, Chapter 5: The Last of the Blind Man
Jim sees eight men running to the inn, including the blind man named Pew. They seem disappointed to find something missing from the chest. Pew orders the men to find the fugitives. When a fight breaks out, the men scatter and Pew is killed by men on horseback coming to investigate. Jim finds the inn ruined and goes to Livesey’s house.
Part One: The Old Buccaneer, Chapter 6: The Captain’s Papers
Jim, Officer Dance, and the others arrive at Livesey’s house. Jim shows him the book covered in the oil cloth. They find a log of places where loot was stolen and a map of an island where the treasure is buried.
Part Two: The Sea Cook, Chapter 7: I Go to Bristol
Jim and the others prepare for their journey to Treasure Island aboard the Hispaniola. Trelawney hires Long John Silver as the ship’s cook. Jim says goodbye to his mother and sets off for Bristol to meet up with Trelawney.
Part Two: The Sea Cook, Chapter 8: At the Sign of the Spy-Glass
Trelawney gives Jim a note to pass on to Long John Silver. During their meeting, he and Jim share their views on Black Dog and Pew and they become friends. Jim introduces Silver to Livesey and Livesey is pleased to have Silver as the ship’s new cook.
Part Two: The Sea Cook, Chapter 9: Powder and Arms
Jim, Silver, and the others meet Mr. Arrow, the first mate, and Smollett, the Captain. Livesey declares his trust for Smollett and Silver.
Part Two: The Sea Cook, Chapter 10: The Voyage
Mr. Arrow is discovered as a hopeless drunk and disappears one night. Job replaces him as first mate. Jim is entranced with Silver and his parrot. Jim gets hungry and climbs into a barrel for an apple.
Part Two: The Sea Cook, Chapter 11: What I Heard in the Apple Barrel
Jim overhears Silver telling some men about his adventures with Old Flint, the buccanneer. Jim learns that most of the crew on board are Flint’s old shipmates and plan to take the treasure for themselves.
Part Two: The Sea Cook, Chapter 12: Council of War
When the island is spotted ahead, Capt. Smollett consults his map, which Jim recognizes. Jim confides in Trelawney and Smollett Silver’s plans and Trelawney regrets his hiring of the crew. Smollett urges everyone to stay alert.
Part Three: My Shore Adventure, Chapter 13: How My Shore Adventure Began
After dropping anchor, Trelawney allows the men to head to the island on a diversion leaving the honest crew men to take control of the ship. Silver and the other pirates plan to look for the treasure and Jim stows away with them to spy. When he is spotted, he runs away.
Part Three: My Shore Adventure, Chapter 14: The First Blow
Silver tries to persuade another sailor named Tom to join him and his mutiny. Tom denies and Silver kills him. Jim is frightened and runs deeper into the island.
Part Three: My Shore Adventure, Chapter 15: The Man of the Island
Jim meets Ben Gunn. Ben tells him useful information about the lost treasure. In return for helping him with a safe passage home, Ben gives him refuge at his house.
Part Four: The Stockade, Chapter 16: Narrative Continued by the Doctor: How the Ship Was Abandoned
Dr. Livesey takes over the narration. He confesses his and Smollett’s concern for Jim’s safety. Livesey goes ashore and finds a stockade. He and the others load the ship with provisions. Smollett gives Abraham Gray, a sailor who was in with the mutineers, one more chance to join the good side.
Part Four: The Stockade, Chapter 17: Narrative Continued by the Doctor: The Jolly-Boat’s Last Trip
The small boat carrying Tom, Trelawney, Smollett, Livesey, Abraham, and the provisions is quite heavy. When a mutineer sends a cannonball at them, the ship sinks and they are forced to wade ashore.
Part Four: The Stockade, Chapter 18: Narrative Continued by the Doctor: End of the First Day’s Fighting
Smollett and the others wade ashore and discover a pirate they have killed. They reload their guns at the stockade. Tom is shot and they convince him that he will die nobly. They fight off gunfire from the pirates and meet up with Jim again.
Part Four: The Stockade, Chapter 19: Narrative Resumed by Jim Hawkins: The Garrison in the Stockade
Jim resumes the narration again. The group escape the Union Jack as a cannonball is shot at them. Jim discovers the Jolly Roger and goes back to tell the others. Jim overhears someone saying that Silver is approaching with a truce flag.
Part Four: The Stockade, Chapter 20: Silver’s Embassy
Silver introduces himself as Captain and strikes a compromise with Smollett. Silver offers cease-fire in return for the treasure map. Smollett refuses him.
Part Four: The Stockade, Chapter 21: The Attack
After Smollett refuses Silver, a battle ensues and Jim and most of the others return safely to the stockade.
Part Five: My Sea Adventure, Chapter 22: How My Sea Adventure Began
Livesey takes the map and goes to speak with Ben Gunn. Jim spies Silver and his men and heads for the Hispaniola.
Part Five: My Sea Adventure, Chapter 23: The Ebb-Tide Runs
Jim cuts the anchor and sets the Hispaniola adrift. He is flung back onto the small boat and notices that he is drifting near the pirate camp. He commends his soul to God and falls asleep.
Part Five: My Sea Adventure, Chapter 24: The Cruise of the Coracle
Jim tries to paddle back to the Hispaniola in order to take it over. When he sees that his small boat has been destroyed, Jim realizes that he cannot escape.
Part Five: My Sea Adventure, Chapter 25: I Strike the Jolly Roger
Aboard the Hispaniola, Jim confronts the drunken Israel Hands and declares that he is the captain. He throws the Jolly Roger flag overboard. After striking a deal, Hands agrees to help Jim steer the ship.
Part Five: My Sea Adventure, Chapter 26: Israel Hands
Jim and Hands get into a fight. Jim is pinned to the mast as he shoots Hands.
Part Five: My Sea Adventure, Chapter 27: Pieces of Eight
Jim rips free from the mast and swims to the island. He takes cover in the stockade and sees the pirates have taken over. He tries to run but is too late.
Part Six: Captain Silver Chapter 28: In the Enemy’s Camp
Silver is amused by Jim and confides that his men are close to mutiny. He tells Jim to play the hostage to prevent his men from attacking and then tells him that Livesey has given him the map.
Part Six: Captain Silver, Chapter 29: The Black Spot Again
The pirates give Silver a black spot impeaching him as the captain. Silver blames the men and gives them the map. He gives Jim the black spot as a souvenir.
Part Six: Captain Silver, Chapter 30: On Parole
Livesey arrives to tend to the pirates. Livesey asks for a private meeting with Jim. Silver grants him his wish. Livesey chastises Jim for deserting the Captain. He tries to convince him that they should flee. Jim refuses.
Part Six: Captain Silver, Chapter 31: The Treasure-Hunt—Flint’s Pointer
Silver thanks Jim for not running away, but Jim is worried about his future. The pirates, along with Silver and Jim, discover a skeleton pointing the way to the treasure.
Part Six: Captain Silver, Chapter 32: The Treasure-Hunt—The Voice Among the Trees
Nearing the treasure, the pirates hear a high voice singing the Flint’s last words. They believe it’s his ghost but continue forward. They discover the treasure missing.
Part Six: Captain Silver, Chapter 33: The Fall of a Chieftain
When the pirates begin to mutiny again, a gunshot kills several pirates and Abraham, Livesey, and Gunn emerge. Ben reveals that he found the treasure first and hid it in a cave. The group goes to where the treasure is and they rejoice in their new fortune.
Part Six: Captain Silver, Chapter 34: And Last
Jim and the others load the treasure onto the ship leaving some of the mutineers marooned on the island. Jim returns to his narration and tells the reader what happens to everyone including Silver’s disappearance with some gold.
  • Year Published: 1883
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: England
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 7.0
  • Word Count: 74,101
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Keywords: 19th century literature, british literature, robert louis stevenson, scottish authors
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