Treasure Island Revisited


160 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography
ISBN 1-894294-89-0
DDC 910.4'5




Reviewed by John Walker

John Walker is a professor of Spanish studies at Queen’s University.


The prolific Newfoundland writer Jack Fitzgerald was born and educated
in St. John’s, and has devoted his working life to the history,
politics, and culture of his native province. Treasure Island Revisited
is the most recent of his dozen publications.

Fitzgerald has dug deep into government archives, local history,
provincial newspapers, and the like to produce this fascinating story of
a hidden treasure that has more than a passing interest for readers of
all stripes and nations, as well as various connections with other works
of literature that transcend Newfoundland’s shores. This particular
event is related to another tale that links Newfoundland and the Cocos
Island, situated 300 miles off the coast of Costa Rica. Fitzgerald’s
research reveals connections between Newfoundlanders John Keating, his
colleague Captain Thompson, and the legendary hidden treasure.
Interesting enough in itself, the story of the Cocos Island treasure was
also known in other parts of the world as The Lost Treasure of Lima.
What gives it great import and interest is the popular belief that this
story was the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel,
Treasure Island.

Fitzgerald’s extensively researched work provides us with useful
information on places, people, and ships that supply grist for his
historical and literary mill. The book is divided into nine chapters,
describing the origins of the treasure, the maps, the clues, as well as
the contributions of other historical figures (apart from Keating and
Thompson) like Captain Nick Fitzgerald and many other adventurers,
shysters, and pirates.

Treasure Island Revisited is an entertaining work, despite some
repetition and sloppy editing (especially with regard to foreign names
and place names). A useful bibliography and notes round out the volume.


Fitzgerald, Jack., “Treasure Island Revisited,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 12, 2024,