Read Along,  Show Notes

Episode 180: “Kidnapped,” Ch. 7-18

This week on The Literary Life Podcast, Angelina, Thomas, and Cindy continue their discussion of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped, covering chapters 7-18. After sharing their commonplace quotes, Thomas opens the conversation with a brief synopsis of chapter 7. Angelina notes the increase in danger and violence in this section of the book, and our hosts talk about the roguish character of Alan Breck. They make many comparisons between Kidnapped and Treasure Island and highlight the other-world atmosphere Stevenson creates while staying in the real world. Cindy mentions some of the conflict between the Campbells and MacDonalds, and Thomas fleshes out a little more of this aspect of Scottish history.

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Commonplace Quotes:

Mr. Roger Lancelyn Green, writing in English not long ago, remarked that the reading of Rider Haggard had been to many a sort of religious experience. To some people this will have seemed simply grotesque. I myself would strongly disagree with it if ‘religious’ is taken to mean ‘Christian.’ And even if we take it in a sub-Christian sense, it would have been safer to say that such people had first met in Haggard’s romances elements which they would meet again in religious experience if they ever came to have any. But I think Mr. Green is very much nearer the mark than those who assume that no one has ever read the romances except in order to be thrilled by hair-breadth escapes. If he had said simply that something which the educated receive from poetry can reach the masses through stories of adventure, and almost in no other way, then I think he would have been right.

C. S. Lewis

The conception which unites the whole varied work of Stevenson was that romance, or the vision of the possibilities of things, was far more important than mere occurrences: that one was the soul of our life, the other the body, and that the soul was the precious thing.

G. K. Chesterton, from Varied Types

What do you usually do when you are shut up in a secret room, with no chance of getting out for hours? As for me, I always say poetry to myself. It is one of the uses of poetry–one says it to oneself in distressing circumstances of that kind, or when one has to wait at railway stations, or when one cannot get to sleep at night. You will find poetry most useful for this purpose. So learn plenty of it, and be sure it is the best kind, because this is most useful as well as most agreeable.

E. Nesbit, from The House of Arden

A Selection from Rob Roy’s Grave

by William Wordsworth

Thou, although with some wild thoughts
Wild Chieftain of a savage Clan!
Hadst this to boast of; thou didst love
The liberty of man.

And, had it been thy lot to live
With us who now behold the light,
Thou would’st have nobly stirred thyself,
And battled for the Right.

For thou wert still the poor man’s stay,
The poor man’s heart, the poor man’s hand;
And all the oppressed, who wanted strength,
Had thine at their command.

Books Mentioned:

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard

The History of Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

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