Poison Island

"Ingots, lad—golden ingots! Bars and wedges of solid gold! Gems, too, and cath-e-deral plate, with crucifixions and priests' vestments stiff with pearls and rubies as if they was frozen. I've seen 'em lyin' tossed in a heap like mullet in a ground-net. Ay, and blazin' on the beach, with the gulls screamin' over 'em and flappin', and the sea all around. I seen it with these eyes, boy"
From Poison Island, Chapter V
Photograph of young Cornish sailor, taken around 1900

Poison Island is an adventure story about the hunt for lost treasure, very much in the vein of R.L. Stevenson. It was published in 1906 and shares a nautical theme with other works that Q produced at this time. On one level, it is an exciting tale. On a deeper level, it explores ideas about the nature of evil, the corrupting effects of money and power and the misuse of scientific knowledge.

Here you will find a chapter-by-chapter summary of the novel.

There is an essay ‘Three Studies in Evil’ on the three main villains of the story. This is followed by a chronology of these individuals’ lives. There are also descriptions of all the main characters in the novel.

If you would like to read more about the novel and the context in which it was written, a separate study is available here.

If you would like to read Poison Island for yourself, the Internet Archive copy is available here. Alternatively, you can download the text of the novel from Project Gutenberg here.