Robert Michael Ballantyne: The Coral Island

(1986 words)

The Coral Island (1858) was the second novel of the popular Scottish children’s writer R. M. Ballantyne and his most enduring literary legacy, frequently considered to be a classic of its kind. Based on the exotic shipwreck scenario most familiar from Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, The Coral Island also draws on a number of more obscure sources, notably accounts of missionary travels in the Pacific and a now almost entirely forgotten 1853 novel The Island Home; or, The Young Castaways by the American James F. Bowman. Ballantyne’s tale is a blend of rollicking adventure and sanctimonious reflections on the virtues of Empire that comes with the characteristic racial prejudices and stereotypes …

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Miller, John . "The Coral Island". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 February 2008
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]