Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Louis Stevenson published Treasure Island near the end of the 19th century, in 1883. Some books simply do not stand the test of time – this one just becomes better with age. Everyone loves pirates and this is the quintessential swashbuckling story of adventure. We know you have all read the book (shame on you if you haven’t) so take our quiz and test your knowledge about one the greatest stories ever told.

The inspiration for the book was Stevenson’s stepson, who was spending a rainy summer day with a box of paints, painting a map of an island where buried treasure could be found. Stevenson took an immediate interest in the map assisting with some of its details before finally sitting down to write a story that would appeal to a young boy.

Writing a chapter a day, Stevenson penned the first 15 installments, reading out each aloud for his entire family who made suggestions. These early chapters were submitted to Young Folks Magazine by a family friend, and were published on a weekly basis. But after those first 15 chapters Stevenson began to suffer from writer’s block and feared the book would never be completed. A trip to Davos in Switzerland cleared his head and he completed Treasure Island on his return.

The initial serialization in Young Folks Magazine from October 1881 to January 1882 did not attract serious attention, but in 1883 Cassel & Company published the book in its entirety and it became a bestseller. Stevenson was paid £100 for the book, which was first printed in four bindings (green, grey, blue and rust-coloured) between November 14 and December 11 in 1883. There were just 2000 first editions printed. These early copies are scarce and are currently being offered on AbeBooks.com for up to $32,500.

 

1. From what town does the Treasure Island expedition set sail?

Brighton
Bristol
Portsmouth
Dover

2. What is the name of the ship that carried the crew to Treasure Island?

The Hispaniola
The Cutlass
The Walrus
The Golden Hind

3. What was the name of Captain Flint’s ship?

The Black Dog
The Walrus
The Jolly Roger
Buccaneer's Jewel

4. Who was the actor who played Long John Silver in the quintessential 1950 Treasure Island movie?

Robert Newton
Finlay Currie
Charles Ogle
Bernard Miles

5. In that same 1950 movie version of Treasure Island, Pew was played by John Laurie - in what classic British sitcom did Laurie star as a grumpy old Scotsman?

Only Fools and Horses
Dads Army
Black Adder
Are You Being Served?

6. Who is the captain of the Treasure Island voyage?

Livesey
Smollett
Kidd
Kirk

7. What is not found in Billy Bones' sea chest?

A suit of fine clothes
An old Spanish watch
A bottle of rum
Seashells

8. Jim sees "huge slimy monsters" on the beach before cutting loose the Hispaniola. What were those monsters?

Walruses
Sea lions
Seals
Sea otters

9. How much is Jim paid each month by Billy Bones for keeping watch for a one-legged man?

Sixpence
Fourpenny
Shilling
Thruppence

10. How did Jim's father die?

Drowned when his ship sand
Murdered by a pirate
Illness
Suicide

11. What is the name of the inn where Jim Hawkins lives?

The Spy-glass
Admiral Benbow
The Royal George
The Blue Parrot

12. Where is Jim hiding when he overhears the mutiny plot?

In an apple barrel
In a rum barrel
Beneath some rope
Behind a door

13. How does Blind Pew die?

Shot
Stabbed
Trampled
Drowned

14. Who is the first to die in the Squire’s party?

Thomas Redruth
Hunter
Joyce
Livesey

15. In what month does Black Dog first make his appearance?

December
January
February
March

16. In which part of his body does O’Brien stab Israel Hands?

The shoulder
The neck
The thigh
The hand

17. Where did the gold that was buried on Treasure Island initially come from?

Savannah
Madrid
Southampton
Porto Bello

18. What is the name of Silver’s parrot?

Captain Flint
Captain Kidd
Pieces of Eight
Polly

19. How many men are on the deadman’s chest

13
14
15
16

20. What are the final words of Treasure Island?

I still have nightmares about Silver and that island.
Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!
It was an adventure like no other.
Deadmen don’t lie.