RL Stevenson – Kidnapped

Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson, has been one of my favourite stories ever since I was given an abridged, children’s edition for Christmas when I was about 7 or 8.

It was the year of grace, 17– … is how I remember it starting, so I was intrigued from the very beginning by the lack of precision in the date. Although I doubt that I thought of it in those terms at such a young age.

I also enjoyed the serial on TV in the mid 1960s, shown at Sunday tea-time, as all good serials ought to be.

Yes, I’m sure my Mum being Scottish helped build my interest, but after watching that serial on TV, I wanted to visit the Scottish highlands and see the glorious landscapes for myself. If Scotland is that gorgeous in black and white, it must be really stunning in colour…

I’ve subsequently enjoyed the full-length, unabridged novel a few times, as well as the sequel, Catriona. Plus, I’ve watched some other TV and film adaptations. But nothing will ever surpass my experience of that first (now nearly 50-year old) teatime serial.

Yet, often, radio drama can do a pretty good job too. So it was with great pleasure that I found Kidnapped being serialised on BBC 4 Extra. It’s four one-hour long episodes, starring David Rintoul (currently in The Iron Lady with Meryl Streep) and Paul Young.

BBC – BBC Radio 4 Extra Programmes – RL Stevenson – Kidnapped.

Needless to say, I no longer have my original book, but I can visualise it, so if I find a copy on eBay or something, I’ll be very happy.