This historical fiction adventure novel was first published in the magazine Young Folks from May to July 1886. Kidnapped has attracted the praise and admiration of writers such as Henry James, Jorge Luis Borges, and Seamus Heaney. As historical fiction, it is set around 18th-century Scottish events, notably the “Appin Murder”, which occurred near Ballachulish in 1752 in the aftermath of the Jacobite Rising. Many of the characters, and one of the principals, Alan Breck Stewart, were real people. The political situation of the time is portrayed from different viewpoints, and the Scottish Highlanders are treated sympathetically.
Beginning with some of the earliest reviews of Kidnapped in 1886, it has been thought the novel was structured after the true story of James Annesley, a presumptive heir to five aristocratic titles who was kidnapped at the age of 12 by his uncle Richard and shipped from Dublin to America in 1728. He managed to escape after 13 years and return to reclaim his birthright from his uncle in one of the longest court-room dramas of its time.
The sequel Catriona was published in 1893.
|How the novel first appeared|