Places Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Places)
Admiral Benbow Inn
Admiral Benbow Inn. Public inn owned by Jim Hawkins’s parents near Black Hill Cove, an isolated and sheltered bay on Devon’s north coast, along the road to Bristol, that is an ideal place for smugglers to come ashore. Tucked between somber hills and the rocky cove, up whose cliffs the surf roars during storms, the inn is remote from even the nearest hamlet, Kitt’s Hole, and conveys an atmosphere of unrelieved loneliness and foreboding. The novel opens with a menacing figure appearing at the inn and demanding a room. Later unmasked as the pirate captain Billy Bones, he long overstays his welcome and so tyrannizes the inn that other guests leave, and Jim’s father weakens and dies an early death. Having chosen the Benbow Inn because of its isolation, Bones lives in daily fear of being discovered by fellow pirates; after they finally appear, he dies of apoplexy, and Jim and his mother flee the inn before the other pirates return—but not before they open his seachest and find a map of Treasure Island. Despite the fear Jim experiences at the inn, he later dreams of returning there while he is experiencing even worse dangers on Treasure Island.
Admiral Benbow Inn is aptly named after a late seventeenth century English admiral, John Benbow, who won renown for fighting pirates in the West Indies and for his heroic death in action against the French after the captains serving under him mutinied.
*Bristol. Busy port city in southwestern England where the expedition of the Hispaniola begins and ends. Bristol is also the home of the crafty one-legged pirate Long John Silver, who signs on for the voyage as ship’s cook. Silver owns a tavern in Bristol called the Spy-glass. While waiting for the Hispaniola to sail, he befriends Jim, accompanies him around Bristol’s docks and teaches him about ships and the sea. To Jim, Bristol is an exciting portal to the world outside, and he says though he “had lived by the shore all my life, I seemed never to have been near the sea till then.”
Hispaniola. Ship on which Jim and his companions sail from England to Treasure Island and back. Apart from the fact that the Hispaniola is a sturdy two-hundred-ton schooner that sails well and initially has a crew of about twenty men, Stevenson describes little about the ship and even less about its voyages across the Atlantic, thereby avoiding details of...
(The entire section is 1021 words.)
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Bibliography (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Eigner, Edwin M. Robert Louis Stevenson and Romantic Tradition. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1966. Places Stevenson and Treasure Island in the Romantic tradition established in the eighteenth century and defends him from the criticism of F. R. Leavis, who did much to lower Stevenson’s reputation in the mid-twentieth century.
Hellman, George S. The True Stevenson: A Study in Clarification. New York: Haskell House Publishers, 1972. A reprint of a 1925 study which draws upon Stevenson’s letters, conversations with his contemporaries, and his wife’s letters to elucidate points about the author and...
(The entire section is 242 words.)