From pieces of eight to tales of Gothic horror, Robert Louis Stevenson (11/13/1850) was a masterful teller of tales. Tight plotting and memorable characters don’t grow old. Treasure Island‘s voyage for pirate treasure is made memorable by John Silver’s loveable rogue, who charms as he plots mutiny and mayhem. Kidnapped‘s adventure of a young man cheated of his inheritance is grounded in historic events: the failed rebellion of Bonnie Prince charlie and the trade of indentured servants to the American colonies (Gabaldon fans, this is your wheelhouse). Jekyll and Hyde was something else entirely, a horror story that explored the idea of split personality.
Stevenson’s stories have seldom been successfully translated to film. Hollywood scriptwriters unwisely persist in trying to improve on the master (a notable exception was Disney’s 1960 Kidnapped, which wisely stuck to the text).