Christmas at Sea
Robert Louis Stevenson, 1888
I think that every boy (and every girl, for that matter) ought to read Treasure Island, and not just once, but often, because you not only learn about the sea and such old sea-dogs as the good Ben Gunn and the wicked Israel Hands, but about honor, even when all your friends think you have betrayed them. That is what happens to the boy Jim Hawkins in this tale, and yet, as Doctor Livesey observes at the end, it was Jim, time and again, who proved to be their salvation. The bad opinion he knew they had of him for a while was all the more painful to him, because his father had died, and he set out to sea for his mother’s sake and for his father’s memory, to save the old inn, the Admiral Benbow, where they had made their lives. And I think every reader can remember that dramatic scene, when Jim is hiding in the big apple barrel, and he overhears his supposed friend, the one-legged cook Long John Silver, conspiring with the other men to mutiny and commandeer the ship and get the buried tre…
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Word & Song by Anthony Esolen to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.