R. M. Ballantyne was a prolific author whose almost one hundred books were extremely successful with their mostly juvenile readership at the height of the British Empire in the late nineteenth century. His writing is marked both by its exotic settings and by an evangelical and educational zeal that made him equally well-liked among school-masters and clergy. In the words of one appreciative Reverend, the “fine, manly moral tone” of Ballantyne's tales seemed ideal to “promote the moral health of the community”.
Although born in Edinburgh in 1825 to a prosperous and cultured family of merchants and publishers, Ballantyne's early life was blighted by financial worries after the family businesses became crippled by debt …
Miller, John . "R. M. Ballantyne". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 October 2006
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