London: James Nisbet, n.d. [c.1897]. Illustrated by the author.
Octavo, original red cloth pictorially stamped in pwhite, black, yellow and blue, lettered in gilt and black. Barely rubbed, ink inscription and rubber stamp name on front free endpaper, else a bright clean copy.
Robert Michael Ballantyne was born 24 April, 1825, in Edinburgh, and he was a nephew of James Ballantyne who was the publisher of Sir Walter Scott's works. He has a brother, James Robert, who translated Hindu philosophical works and also ws an Orientalist. When Ballantyne was sixteen he joined the Hudson Bay Fur Company as a clerk and spent six years in Canada fur trading. This tough life stood him in good stead when he came to write his adventure stories. He wrote long letters home to his mother and they were the beginning of his writing career. He returned to Edinburgh in 1847 and worked at a printing and publishing company of Thomas Constable, and published his first book the following year called Hudson's Bay, or, Life in the Wilds of North America. He then published a boy's adventure story for Nelson Publishing eight years later, and this became a best seller, and this was then followed by several other titles. In 1858 he wrote his most famous story The Coral Island which told of the shipwreck upon a South Sea Island of three young boys; this book has not been out of print since [Doyle, The Who's Who of Children's Literature]. [Quayle 69. S & W 98 (title misspelled, wrong publisher and date)].