Armies and enemies of the crusades, 1096-1291: Organization, by Ian Heath

By Ian Heath

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Such a quest defines heroism, and through this voyage he achieves the status of a young, but impressively mature person. The tone of the story and the quality of its mythical voice are therefore realistic and tough-minded, and will perhaps change a modern reader舗s ideas of what to expect from a Victorian adventure story written about a long-gone time of buccaneering exploits. 舡 The action moves rapidly from placid, uninterrupted daily life to danger and mutiny on the high seas, and that is only the beginning.

At every turn his motto must be Stevenson舗s own: 舠The great affair is to move,舡 for his creator was always on the move, walking, climbing, canoeing, sailing, trying for a better climate to bolster his frail tubercular health, writing essays and memoirs of these travels. 舡 There is an old-fashioned side to the way the story reaches back to simpler, more adventurous times. In Treasure Island the narrative transports us from an isolated seacoast inn to the bustle of Bristol, a thriving seaport with an ancient maritime history.

1879 In August Stevenson sets out for California to see Fanny. A severe chest infection leaves him on the verge of death. 1880 Having been granted a divorce, Fanny weds Stevenson and nurses him in northern California. The two then return to Edinburgh. During the next four years, between bouts of illness, the couple travels to southern France and Switzerland. 1881 Stevenson, inspired by a map he made with his stepson, Lloyd Osbourne, begins thinking about the plot for a story about a search for buried treasure.

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