« How a book begins | Main | What is it like to be lost & homeless? »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Amazing that you did this! 'Kidnapped' was the most significant and exciting book from my childhood.... it's such an old friend I still keep reading it.
Have just found your site so I am looking forward to your journey. Great idea - something I would have loved to do also, but alas, older and live in Australia now!
Best of Luck in all you do,

Thanks Sarah! The latter parts of the journey aren't too strenuous for us oldies! Check out the maps and never rule out getting out there.

best wishes


Hi there, I followed your walk blog in 2009 and still think it was a wonderful idea. Here's some information that might interest you, and a request.
1. In the MS (f. 111), opposite the first two paragraphs of chapter 20, Stevenson appears to calculate the distance travelled: One sum multiplies 30 by 13. Here, Stevenson may be speculating that his characters are traveling 13 miles for 30 days to a total of 390 miles. A second calculation multiplies 390 x 1.6, giving 624. The 1.6 converts miles to kilometers, giving a total of 624 kilometers. Does 390 miles sound about right to you?
2. I'm helping to write notes for an edition of Kidnapped: does that 30 days travel correspond to your calculations? Would it be possible to share your table of days and dates? You count 3 weeks in Rob Roy's house, but the text says they set off 'before a month', so could this not mean anything from 22 to 27 days? — if 26 days then the 56 days 30 June to 24 Aug would contain 30 days of travel.

Hello D

Sorry for the delay in replying. I've been rather leaving this site to slowly decay as various online services and account get shut down or disappear.

I did not know that Stevenson had made a little note like this. Very interesting!

I am a bit suspicious of his numbers having done the trip. The key sentence in the whole book is in Chapter 27:

"The brig was lost on June the 27th," says he, looking in his
book," and we are now at August the 24th.

With 3 days spent on Earraid, David starts travelling on 30th June. He spends 3 days in Cluny's Cage and finally gets to Rob's Roy House 0n 22 July.

It's true that it's not stated how long David stays there, but we do know that 5 further days of travel are described of David getting to Queensferry. Since he has to be there on 24th August, that means he set out from Rob Roy's House on 20th August. That's 29 days of rest (just under a month)

Stevenson himself gets a bit confused about how many days travel there are and what the date is. In the book, he seems rather keen to get David and Alan to Stirling Bridge on 23 Aug - the day Wallace was 'martyred'. I suspect this mission to be in Stirling on the 23rd is what confuses Stevenson's timeline in this section of the book whereby he then 'loses' a day between here and getting to South Queensferry (Mr Rankeillor claims it's the 24th when David turns up in Chapter 27 but logically it should be the 25th.)

My claim then would be that across 56 days there are in fact only 21 days of travel described in the book.

In terms of distance, total distance I have logged on my GPS tracker is just under 390 *kilometres* not miles. The longest days of walking (no boats) are 28k across the moor and 32k getting to Limekilns on the penultimate day.

The average distance across 21 days therefore is 18k.

Happy to go into more detail with you if you like. Really looking forward to seeing your new version of the book!

Best wishes


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)