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Free Study Guide for Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson-BookNotes

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The novel Treasure Island is set in two separate locations in the mid 1700s. The book opens at the Admiral Benbow, a small sea-side inn situated in Black Hill Cove, near Bristol on the Southwestern coast of England. It is at the Admiral Benbow Inn where Jim, at the request of Dr. Livesey and Squire Trelawney, records the story of their journey to Treasure Island.

Most of the novel, however, takes place on Treasure Island (really named Skeleton Island) and the ocean that surrounds it. The island is a huge stretch of land in the West Indies, inhabited mostly by wild animals and birds. Most of the island is covered with gray colored woods, filled with tall pine trees, hills, and stones spires. The tallest hill, about 300 to 400 feet tall, has a strange blunt top and is called spy-glass.


Major Characters

Jim Hawkins
The protagonist of the book. He is a young, adventurous country boy (probably 12 to 14) who goes on a treasure-hunting voyage to Treasure Island. His parents own the Admiral Benbow Inn.

Long John Silver
The dangerous one-legged man who works as a cook on the Hispaniola and leads the mutineersí attack against Captain Smolletís men.

Captain Billy Bones
A tall, strong, heavy, and drunken man with a saber cut across his right cheek who comes to live at the Admiral Benbow Inn with an old sea-chest.

Black Dog
A pale man with two fingers missing in his left hand, he is the first visitor to see Captain Billy Bones at the Inn.

Old Man Pew - The Blind Man
A blind beggar, who was once a friend of the pirate Captain Flint and the second visitor to Captain Billy Bones at the Inn. He dies after being trampled under the horses of superintendent Dance and his men after being deserted by his men.

Dr. Livesey
A calm, composed, duty bound man who decides to take Jim on the voyage. He is also a local magistrate and a close friend of the Hawkins family.

Squire Trelawney
A tall man with a rough face, he is a close associate of Dr. Livesey. He is the person who arranges to purchase the ship and hire the crew for the voyage to Treasure Island.

Captain Smollet
The brave captain of the Hispaniola. He is intelligent, tactful, and very strict when it comes to handling the ship and its crew.

Ben Gunn
The only human inhabitant of Treasure Island. He was marooned by his fellow pirates three years previously.

Minor Characters

Mr. and Mrs. Hawkins
Jimís parents who own and run the Admiral Benbow Inn at Black Cove Hill.

Mr. Dance
The superintendent who comes in at the right time to save Jim and his mother from Old Man Pew and his men.

Tom Redruth
A long time companion of Squire Trelawney who is his gamekeeper. He is the first man to die from among Captain Smolletís men after the mutiny.

A friend of Squire Trelawney, he is plays an instrumental role in purchasing the Hispaniola for the voyage.

Ben and Harry
Two men at the Spyglass Inn who are asked by Long John Silver to chase Black Dog.

The man who drinks with Black Dog at the Spyglass and whom Long John calls "a reliable man".

Mr. Arrow
A friend of the Squire who serves as a mate in the Hispaniola. He is a drunk and disappears one morning from the ship.

Job Anderson
The boatswain aboard the ship who functions as a mate when Mr. Arrows disappears.

Israel Hands
A friend of Long John Silver; he works as the coxswain and is killed by Jim Hawkins during their encounter on the Hispaniola.

Abraham Gray
He is one of the honest sailors aboard the Hispaniola who fights on the Squire's side.

The first man who is killed by Long John Silverís men.

Tom Morgan
One of Long John Silverís men who gets killed by Silver when he turns his back on him.

George Merry
The man who takes command of the pirates when they desert Long John Silver. The doctor and his men kill him.

A sailor aboard the Hispaniola who is killed by Israel Hands.

A dead man found on the island.

Captain Flint
While not actually a character, Captain Flint is the feared pirate leader whose treasure they seek.

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