Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island
Columbia Masterworks Set MM 553

Robert Louis Stevenson was' thirty-one years old when lie started to write Treasure Island. The original title was The Sea Cook, and the idea for the story was suggested by a large, brightly colored map that he once made to entertain a small schoolboy who lived near his home and whose friendship Stevenson had cultivated.

Stevenson was quite modest about the originality of Treasure Island, and admitted that there. were elements in the plot that were possibly contained in other stories. In his own foreword to Treasure Island he says: "No doubt the parrot once belonged to Robinson Crusoe, and other elements of the story can be found in Edgar Allan Poe. Once I chanced to pick up Tales of a Traveler and was surprised to find in that book Captain Billy Bones, his chest, and a good deal of material detail of my first chapters. In fact, the whole inner spirit appeared to be the property of Washington Irving."

Stevenson's concept of the originality of some of the material proved to be of little importance to his readers, however, for Treasure Island become one of the most successful if not the best known -- of all his books, and remains, as always, a glorious adventure to all not acquainted with tile story, and a thesaurus of continuing thrills and interest to those who have read it again and again.

Basil RathboneIn this album Basil Rathbone, (left), star of stage, screen, and radio, adds another brilliant performance to his long list of superb characterization on Columbia Records, which include Scrooge in Dickens' Christmas Carol, and the Narrator in Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, not to forget his reading of Edna St. Vincent Millay's The Murder of Lidice. Best known perhaps for his interpretation of Sherlock Holmes, Mr. Rathbone in Treasure Island demonstrates his unlimited versatility by his performance as both Long John Silver and the Story Teller.

Through the medium of phonograph records, Treasure Island literally comes to life. The stormy oaths of Long John Silver are no longer mere written bellowings on the printed page to be punctuated with an exclamation point. His rough and raucous voice is there to be heard, as is the chattering of the parrot, the dying groans of Billy Bones, and the battle between the ship's officers and the mutinous pirates in all its exciting detail.

Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island
Adapted by Ralph Rose - Produced by Les Mitchel
Chorus under the direction of Richard Davis

The Cast
Narrator and Long John Silver - Basil Rathbone
Jim Hawkins - Dix Davis
Billy Bones - Ken Christy
Squire Trelawney - Raymond Lawrence
Captain Smollett - Richard Ahernim
Pirate - Joseph Granby
Ben Gunn - Harry Lang