A reading of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped


When my daughters were younger I used to read to them every evening. Over the years we read all the Harry Potter books, the Narnia stories, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, The Hobbit, Alice in Wonderland, most of Alan Garner’s output and various others. As they got older we read most of Jane Austen’s novels together. I’m not sure who enjoyed all this most, me or them. But sometime in the last three or four years our nightly readings ceased. They’re teenagers now and not minded to indulge their father’s keenness to read aloud.

So, for better or worse, I’ve decided to inflict myself on you. For no other reason that I remember enjoying it as a youngster (and because it’s safely out of copyright) I’ve chosen to read Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic adventure, Kidnapped. I’m going to put up a chapter every day until we’re done, and I promise to avoid shonky attempts at Scottish accents. If you know any youngster who might enjoy listening to an old yearn, send them this way. (And if any parents are looking for a homeschooling project, this resource made for Edinburgh’s 2007 city wide reading campaign might make a useful accompaniment.)

Here’s chapter 1: I set off upon my journey to the House of Shaws

Chapter 2: I come to my journey’s end

Chapter 3: I make acquaintance of my Uncle

Chapter 4: I run a great danger in the House of Shaws

Chapter 5: I go to the Queen’s ferry

Chapter 6: What befell at the Queen’s ferry

Chapter 7: I go to sea in the brig Covenant of Dysart

Chapter 8: The Round House

Chapter 9: The man with the belt of gold

Chapter 10: The seige of the round house

Chapter 11: The captain knuckles under

Chapter 12: I hear of the ‘Red Fox’

Chapter 13: The loss of the brig

Chapter 14: The Islet

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#ProjectParadise: A group reading project

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