Title: Kidnapped

Author: Robert Louis Stevenson

Published: 1893

Genre: Children, Adventure

Kidnapped is a historical fiction adventure novel by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson. Written as a "boys' novel" and first published in the magazine Young Folks from May to July 1886, the novel has attracted the praise and admiration of writers as diverse as Henry James, Jorge Luis Borges, and Seamus Heaney. A sequel, Catriona, was published in 1893.

As historical fiction, it is set around 18th-century Scottish events, notably the "Appin Murder", which occurred near Ballachulish in 1752 in the aftermath of the Jacobite Rising. Many of the characters, and one of the principals, Alan Breck Stewart, were real people. The political situation of the time is skilfully portrayed from different viewpoints, and the Scottish Highlanders are treated sympathetically.

A recent book (January 2010) shows that Stevenson was inspired by a true story from earlier in the 18th century: James Annesley, the presumptive heir to five aristocratic titles, was kidnapped at the age of 12 by his uncle and shipped from Dublin to America in 1728. He managed to escape after 13 years and returned to bring his uncle, the Earl of Anglesea, to justice.

The full title of the book, Kidnapped: Being Memoirs of the Adventures of David Balfour in the Year 1751: How he was Kidnapped and Cast away; his Sufferings in a Desert Isle; his Journey in the Wild Highlands; his acquaintance with Alan Breck Stewart and other notorious Highland Jacobites; with all that he Suffered at the hands of his Uncle, Ebenezer Balfour of Shaws, falsely so-called: Written by Himself and now set forth by Robert Louis Stevenson gives away major parts of the plot and creates the false impression that the novel is autobiographical.