Saturday, 5 September 2015

Ben Gunn

In today's chapter of Training Carrie (chapter 41) the book Ben Gunn is mentioned. I think the writer refers to Treasure Island, but there is prequel to that famous book, called the Adventures of Ben Gunn. Ben Gunn is the main character in The Adventures of Ben Gunn, a prequel to Treasure Island written by R. F. Delderfield. The story follows Ben Gunn from parson's son to pirate and is narrated by Jim in Gunn's words.

 Ben Gunn is an ex-crewman of Captain Flint's who has been marooned for three years on Treasure Island by his crewmates, after his failure to find the treasure without the map. During his time alone on the island Gunn develops an obsessional craving for cheese. He first appears in the novel when Jim Hawkins encounters him. Ben treats Jim kindly in return for a chance of getting back to his real home.
Jim leaves Ben Gunn behind, but escapes to the Hispaniola on Ben's coracle. Ben appears later making ghostly sounds to delay Long John Silver's party on its search for the treasure, but Silver recognizes his voice, which restores the pirates' confidence. They forge ahead and locate the place where Flint's treasure was buried. The pirates discover that the cache has been rifled and all of the treasure is gone.
The enraged pirates turn on Silver and Jim, but Ben Gunn and several others attack the pirates by surprise, killing two and dispersing the rest. Silver surrenders to Dr. Livesey, promising to return to his "dooty". They go to Ben Gunn's cave home, where Gunn has had the treasure hidden for some months. The treasure is divided amongst Squire Trelawney and his loyal men, including Jim and Ben Gunn (who gets a very small share, £1000 of £700,000 total), and they return to England, leaving the surviving pirates marooned on the island.
Once in England, Gunn manages to spend all his part of the treasure in just a few days and becomes a porter for the rest of his life.


               If sailor tales to sailor tunes,
                  Storm and adventure, heat and cold,
               If schooners, islands, and maroons,
                  And buccaneers, and buried gold,
               And all the old romance, retold
                  Exactly in the ancient way,
               Can please, as me they pleased of old,
                  The wiser youngsters of today:

               —So be it, and fall on!  If not,
                  If studious youth no longer crave,
               His ancient appetites forgot,
                  Kingston, or Ballantyne the brave,
               Or Cooper of the wood and wave:
                  So be it, also!  And may I
               And all my pirates share the grave
                  Where these and their creations lie!


  1. I read this book years ago in high school but didn't really remember it until you mentioned it here...might have to go back and re-read it. Thanks for the reminder Han. ;)

    Hugs and blessings...Cat

    1. Well, I don't know if the book is worth looking for, Cat. It's a children book after all. Like many men I in some ways I have never completely grew up.


  2. One of the reasons why I love visiting much I learn...thanks.
    hugs abby

  3. I agree with abby. Your posts always are so interesting and unexpected.
    Thanks, Han.


    1. You are most kind, my friend. Thank you.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...