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Kidnapped


Kidnapped

Kidnapped is novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1886. The story is set against the background of the aftermath of the 1745 Jacobite rebellion and the Appin murder in which Colin Campbell of Glenure, the Red Fox, was killed following the forfeiture of the Stewart and Cameron lands to the Campbells; the blame for the murder fell on James Stewart of the Glens and his brother Alan Breck Stewart, who play an important part in the novel. Stevenson uses the historical facts as the background to the adventure of David Balfour, a Lowland schoolmaster's son, who has been tricked out of his inheritance by his uncle Ebenezer and kidnapped on a ship bound for America. During the voyage the ship rescues Alan Breck Stewart, a Jacobite outlaw who is forced to fight the ship's crew to save his and David's lives. The ship sinks on the coast of Mull and David and Alan journey back to Edinburgh to reclaim David's inheritance. On the journey they meet many adventures: they witness the Appin murder, are pursued by government troops, and meet Robin Oig, a son of Rob Roy Macgregor.

The novel ends with David's recovery of his inheritance from his rascally uncle and the flight of Alan into exile.
Kidnapped is one of Stevenson's most popular and successful adventure stories: the conflicting characters of David and Alan are finely realized, the historical detail is accurate and there is a splendid evocation of the scenery and atmosphere of the Highlands. Equally important are the contradictions that bind the two men together: the solid Lowlander David and the Highland adventurer Alan and their consequently conflicting loyalties between support of the government and the Jacobite cause, practical   Hanoverianism   and  romantic
Jacobitism, the reality of the present and the glamour of the past. At the end of the novel the differences between the two men have served to cement their friendship. A less successful sequel, Catriona (1893), deals with David Balfour's love affair with Catriona Drummond and his unsuccessful attempt to secure the release of James Stewart of the Glens.

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