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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

R. M. Ballantyne

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of reading. Among others, I’ve enjoyed tremendously a series of books, republished by Vision Forum, by an eighteenth century author, named R. M. Ballantyne. For those of you who have either heard of, or read, the works of G. A. Henty, Ballantyne is very similar. To some extent a contemporary of Henty, Ballantyne wrote boys’ adventure literature, focusing mainly on geographic locations.

He was dubbed “Ballantyne the Brave” by Robert Louis Stevenson, author of such classics as Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and David Balfour. Ballantyne was highly instrumental in Stevenson’s life, and that author’s creation of Treasure Island, was largely influenced because of reading Ballantyne’s The Coral Island. This last book is one of Ballantyne’s best known books, but in addition he wrote around ninety others. So far, Vision Forum has republished twenty, and are continuing to work on more.

I find Ballantyne’s style to be exciting and fun to read. He writes directly to the reader, in some cases giving helpful advice. R. M. Ballantyne was also a Christian. From his covenanting Scotch background, he made it a point to write with a decidedly Christian theme. The gospel is clearly presented, and defended whole-heartedly. I'm looking forward with great anticipation for the next ones to come out!

Many others enjoy his works too, and a website has been created, to talk about his life. BallantyneTheBrave.com is run by a fifteen-year-old avid reader, who is an expert on his life. He keeps a frequently-updated blog, with information and stories about Ballantyne. I love this website, and have found it a great way to learn more about one of my two favorite authors!

~John

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