Set in Scotland in 1751, Kidnapped tells of how young David Balfour, orphaned, and betrayed by his uncle Ebenezer who should have been his guardian, is kidnapped and falls in with Alan Breck, the unscrupulous but heroic champion of the Jacobite cause. The novel revolves around their friendship and their differences, suggesting a metaphor for Scotland itself. Modern critics see the novel as more than a boy’s adventure yarn; at the heart of it lies what Henry James described as the ‘really excellent’ chapters of the flight in the heather that raise the novel to greatness.
Kidnapped is a historical fiction adventure novel by 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 Hilary Mantel.