free booknotes online

Help / FAQ




<- Previous Page | First Page | Next Page ->
MonkeyNotes Study Guide for Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson-Book Notes
Table of Contents | Message Board | Downloadable/Printable Version

LITERARY / HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Stevenson's Kidnapped is both an adventure story and a historical novel. It first appeared in 1886 as a children's tale published in installments in a boy's adventure magazine called Young Folks. David Balfour's adventures created enough thrill, excitement, and suspense to become a children's classic almost immediately. It is also valued as a novel that relates the history of Scotland in the eighteenth century.

During the Middle Ages, the relationship between England and Scotland was strained, and there were many battles between the two countries. In 1603, after the death of Queen Elizabeth, King James of Scotland was invited to ascend the throne of England; he then became James I of England and James VI of Scotland. In 1685, after the death of Charles II, his brother, James II, ascended the throne. However, James II fled the country in 1688 and went into exile. He, along with his son (James) and grandson (Prince Charles Edward), formed the Stuart dynasty. He also gave the name "Jacobite" to his supporters and his descendants. Alan Breck in Kidnapped is a Jacobite and feels proud of his status.


In 1707, after an act of union between England and Scotland was agreed upon, the Scottish parliament was brought to an end and the two kingdoms became one. George I from the House of Hanover ascended the throne in 1714. This Hanoverian family and George II in particular are referenced in Kidnapped. David feels proud to be the subject of George II. When Colin Campbell inquires about his relationship with James of Glen, David says, "I am neither of his people nor yours, but an honest subject of King George, owing no man and fearing no man." A royalist at heart, David, like Stevenson, nevertheless shows leanings towards the Jacobites in the novel.

In 1715 the Jacobites made a determined effort to restore the Stuarts to the throne. James, who had shown fire and grit, turned out to be a melancholy man. As a result, the first Jacobite rebellion fizzled out. In 1745, Prince Charles Edward, son of James, sailed over from France with his little group of seven supporters and arrived in the Highlands. At twenty-five years of age, Charles was charming, adventurous, spirited, and courageous. Through his confidence and enterprise, he won over supporters from various clans.

In mid-September, Charles entered Edinburgh and was well- received by the people. He encouraged them to join his forces and fight. They defeated the British army and began marching towards London. They suffered a setback, however, when the English people failed to support them. As a result, Charles and his men returned to Scotland, and the Jacobite movement died down. The end came in April of 1746 in Culloden, when the Duke of Cumberland caught the Highlanders by surprise and routed them completely.

After their defeat, Charles was a hunted fugitive until he was rescued by a French ship and went into exile on the Continent. The Jacobites and their families faced persecution and suffering: the red soldiers hunted them day and night. These facts are brought out in Kidnapped, which is a historical novel with enough adventure to hold the interest of both young and old.

Table of Contents | Message Board | Downloadable/Printable Version
<- Previous Page | First Page | Next Page ->
MonkeyNotes Study Guide for Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson-Summary
Google
Web
PinkMonkey

Google
  Web PinkMonkey.com   

All Contents Copyright PinkMonkey.com
All rights reserved. Further Distribution Is Strictly Prohibited.


About Us
 | Advertising | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Home Page
This page was last updated: 5/9/2017 8:53:01 AM