The Cannibal Islands

The Cannibal Islands

by R. M. Ballantyne


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One of the young men influenced by Ballantyne was Robert Louis Stevenson. He was so impressed with the story of The Coral Island (1857) that he based portions of his famous book Treasure Island (1881) on themes found in Ballantyne. He honoured Ballantyne in the introduction to Treasure Island with the following poem: To the Hesitating Purchaser 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, Or 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!


Of all the explorers, navigators and geographers of the planet Earth, few have surpassed the accomplishments of the English commander Captain James Cook in the eighteenth century. Of all the popular accounts of Captain Cook's voyages, none had focused so compellingly on the gustatory habits of the "savages" encountered on balmy paradises of the South Sea islands than this remarkable and engrossing documentation by the historical novelist R. M. Ballantyne. With clear and compelling prose and most of all with Victorian sensibilities at full throttle, Ballyntine takes a few pages to sketch in some of the great Captain's biography -- but mostly revels in bloodthirsty battles and gruesome details of South Seas atrocities -- cannibalism just one of a long list.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781606642672
Publisher: Aegypan
Publication date: 01/06/2009
Pages: 124
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.29(d)

About the Author

Robert Michael Ballantyne (1825 - 1894) was a Scottish author of juvenile fiction who wrote more than 100 books. He was also an accomplished artist and exhibited some of his water-colors at the Royal Scottish Academy. Ballantyne went to Canada aged 16 and spent five years working for the Hudson's Bay Company. He traded with the local Native Americans for furs, which required him to travel by canoe and sleigh to the areas occupied by the modern-day provinces of Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, experiences that formed the basis of his novel Snowflakes and Sunbeams (1856). His longing for family and home during that period impressed him to start writing letters to his mother. Ballantyne recalled in his autobiographical Personal Reminiscences in Book Making (1893) that "To this long-letter writing I attribute whatever small amount of facility in composition I may have acquired." In 1856 Ballantyne gave up job working for a publishing firm to focus on his literary career and began the series of adventure stories for the young with which his name is popularly associated. The Coral Island (1857) and more than 100 other books followed in regular succession, his rule being in every case to write as far as possible from personal knowledge of the scenes he described.

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