Long John Silver
How Stevenson describes him: "His left leg was cut off close by the hip, and under the left shoulder he carried a crutch, which he managed with wonderful dexterity, hopping about upon it like a bird. He was very tall and strong, with a face as big as a ham - plain and pale, but intelligent and smiling". The role he plays in Treasure Island: Long John Silver was hired by the Squire to be the cook on the Hispaniola. He turns out not to be a cook but an evil pirate who is also hunting for Captain Flint's treasure. Generally he is not to be trusted. He is a clever, sneaky and dastardly villain who is feared by all. He escapes at the end of the book with some of the treasure and is never seen again. What he has to say: "Being a pirate is all well and good...for any man, but once I lost me leg it was never the same. I needed the treasure for me and the wife to get our retirement home in Eastbourne".
How Stevenson describes him: "He was plainly blind for he tapped before him with a stick, and wore a great green shade over his eyes and nose; and he was hunched, as if with age or weakness, and wore a huge old tattered sea-cloak with a hood, which made him appear positively deformed ". The role he plays in Treasure Island: An evil and sinister pirate who was blinded in a pirate attack. He is cruel, scary and determined to get the map. He gives Billy Bones the Black Spot and is trampled to death by horses. What he has to say: "All I needed was the map, then I would have been home and dry - Billy Bones got what he deserved!"
How Stevenson describes him: "a sharp looking man who seemed angry with everything on board". The role he plays in Treasure Island: A fine, upstanding gentleman and an excellent captain. He is immediately suspicious of his motley crew, but taken in by Long John Silver. He proves to be very brave and eventually retires on the money made from the treasure. What he has to say: "I knew that crew was no good - especially that Long John Silver. I had my eye on him from the start (ahem!) - no more adventures at sea for me". Billy Bones
How Stevenson describes him: "A tall, strong, heavy, nut-brown man; his tarry pigtail falling over the shoulders of his soiled blue coat; his hands ragged and scarred, with black, broken nails; and the sabre cut across one cheek, a dirty, livid white". The role he plays in Treasure Island: A drunken, violent and yet terrified man who brings the map to Jim's Inn. He is given the Black Spot by Blind Pew and dies of a heart attack from terror. What he has to say: "Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum...(hic)". Jim Hawkins
How Long John Silver describes him: "I never seen a better boy than that".
The role he plays in Treasure Island: Jim is the hero of the book. It is Jim who finds the map and eventually saves everyone from the pirates. After many adventures on Treasure Island he returns to England with the treasure. What he has to say: "It was all quite scary, but I quite enjoyed it. Can I do it again?" Doctor Livesey How Stevenson describes him: "the neat, bright doctor with his powder white as snow, and his bright, black eyes and pleasant manners"
The role he plays in Treasure Island: A decent, honourable man, who is practical and sensible even when things get tough. Due to his commonsense the treasure is found and brought safely home. What he has to say: "It was an interesting little trip - slight bit of bother on the way, but nothing serious".
How Stevenson describes him: "He was a tall man, over six feet high, and broad in proportion, and he had a bluff, rough-and-ready face, all roughened and reddened and lined in his long travels. His eyebrows were very black and moved readily, and this gave him a look of some temper, not bad, you would say, but quick and high". The role he plays in Treasure Island: He funds the secret treasure hunt, but due to his big mouth he lets the secret out, alerting Long John Silver and his pirate mates. Brave, means well, but a little bit stupid - he is also hopeless at keeping secrets.
What he has to say: "I didn't say a thing... well only to an Innkeeper - that was all - and, oh yes, the stable lad... and the cook... " Ben Gunn
How Stevenson describes him: "His skin, wherever it was exposed, was burnt by the sun; even his lips were black; and his fair eyes looked quite startling in so dark a face. Of all the beggar-men that I had seen or fancied, he was the chief for raggedness. He was clothed with tatters of old ships' canvas and old sea cloth; and this extraordinary patchwork was all held together by a system of of the most various and incongruous fastenings, brass buttons, bits of stick, and loops of tarry gaskin. All around his waist he wore an old brass- buckled leather belt which was the one thing solid in his whole accoutrement ". The role he plays in Treasure Island: Ben Gunn has been marooned on the island for three years and is a reformed pirate. He helps Jim and the others to overcome the pirates and take the treasure home. Once home he manages to spend all his money in three days and becomes a porter for the rest of his life. What he has to say: "It was a bit lonely on the island, so I was pleased to see Jim and the others, but not those no good pirates. I don't miss the island, except for my pet lizard Annabelle". Captain Flint
How Stevenson describes him: "He was the bloodthirstiest buccaneer that sailed. Blackbeard was a child to Flint."
The role he plays in Treasure Island: Captain Flint was the most evil, cruel and heartless pirate to sail the seven seas and it is his treasure that everyone is after. A really nasty piece of work but now long dead (thankfully). What he has to say: "I wish I'd put my treasure in the bank now! If I could just get my hands on them...â€?