A sequel to the adventure story Treasure Island is being written by the former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion.
Robert Louis Stevenson originally wrote his tale of pirates, including Long John Silver, for his stepson in 1883.
Sir Andrew says it is one of his favourite books and that he wants to create a tale “packed with its own adventure, excitement and pathos”.
Return to Treasure Island, which is due to be published in 2012, will return to the story a generation later.
‘Cries of delight’
Treasure Island ends with several pirates still marooned on the island, Long John Silver survives, and most of the loot remains in situ.
In Return to Treasure Island, Jim Hawkins lives with his son, Jim Junior, in a pub on the Thames outside London. Jim Junior is visited by a woman who turns out to be Long John Silver’s daughter.
She convinces Jim Junior to steal the original map of Treasure Island from his father and go on a trip organised by Silver so they can find the rest of the treasure.
Sir Andrew said: “Treasure Island is itself a treasure trove, and has long been a particular favourite.
“In my own book I want to create a world that is sympathetic to the original, but packed with its own adventure, excitement and pathos.”
Dan Franklin, publisher at Jonathan Cape, said Motion’s sequel was a work of “literary ventriloquism”.
“Anyone who loved Stevenson’s original will fall on this book with cries of delight. Indeed, I don’t think I have seen such enthusiasm for a book proposal from every department of the company.”
There have already been several prequels and sequels to a story Stevenson originally wrote for his stepson Lloyd in 1883.
These include AD Howden Smith’s Porto Bello Gold in 1924 and Francis Bryan’s Curse of Treasure Island in 2001.
Treasure Island has also been adapted for the screen and stage on numerous occasions.
Although he is best known as the former Poet Laureate, Sir Andrew has written three previous novels and several biographies.
He was appointed Poet Laureate in 1999 and Carol Ann Duffy was named his successor in 2009.