Robert Michael Ballantyne: Blown to Bits

(859 words)

The Scottish children's writer R. M. Ballantyne's 1889 tale Blown to Bits was the first fictional account of the spectacular and catastrophic Krakatoa eruption of 1883, which obliterated an island in what is now Indonesia and produced striking meteorological effects around the globe. Drawing heavily on the Royal Society of London's extensive 1888 report on The Eruption Of Krakatoa and Subsequent Phenomena and the previous writings of British natural historians A. R. Wallace, H. O. Forbes and Charles Darwin, Ballantyne sets out to weave a boys' adventure around these dramatic events, inserting his customary pro-imperial and evangelical Christian agenda into a narrative he intended for “that portion of the juvenile …

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Miller, John . "Blown to Bits". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 March 2007
[, accessed 30 June 2015.]