Five on a Treasure Island

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Five on a Treasure Island
First edition
Author Enid Blyton
Illustrator Eileen A. Soper
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series The Famous Five series
Genre Mystery, Adventure novel
Publisher Hodder & Stoughton
Publication date
11 September 1942
Media type Print (hardcover and paperback)
Followed by Five Go Adventuring Again (1943)

Five on a Treasure Island (published in 1942) is a popular children's book by Enid Blyton. It is the first book in The Famous Five series. The first edition of the book was illustrated by Eileen Soper.


When siblings Julian (12) Dick (11) and Anne (10) learn that they cannot go on their usual summer holiday trip to Polseath, they are invited to their unknown cousin Georgina's house to stay with her mother (Aunt Fanny) and father (Uncle Quentin) who is a scientist. Their cousin Georgina (11) is a difficult, bossy and initially hostile child. She desperately wants to be a boy - she dresses like one, behaves like one and wears her hair short and curly like one. She answers to George (short for Georgina) and will not answer to her real name because it is a girl's name.

Despite an uncomfortable start, she introduces them to her beloved dog Timmy, whom she has had since he was a puppy. George tells her cousins how the big island on the beach belongs to her. It is called Kirrin Island and was passed down through her family. On their way to the island they see a shipwreck under the water and George explains how her great-great-great grandfather was travelling on it along with lots of other men. He was transporting gold from one country to another. The boat was shipwrecked during a storm and George tells her cousins how divers have been down into the boat to try and find the gold but they haven't. All four children agree the gold must have been unloaded somewhere before the ship sank.

They arrive at the island, along with Timmy, and when Timmy chases a rabbit into a well, the children are surprised to see Timmy standing on a stone slab sticking out from the inside of the well. George climbs down into the well to rescue Timmy, just as a horrible thunderstorm begins. When the storm is over the five explore to check the damage and realise the force of the storm has brought the old shipwreck up to the surface of the water. They decide to explore it before anyone else can, so that if they find any gold it will be theirs and no one else's. So they explore the boat and find a small black box looking a bit like a jewellery box, but they cannot get it open.

They take it back to Kirrin Cottage (George's home) and decide a good way to get it open would be to drop it from the highest window of the house. This works and the box cracks open, but Uncle Quentin confiscates it, complaining that the noise they made opening it was disturbing him from doing his work. However, Uncle Quentin only leaves the open box on a shelf on his study so when he falls asleep, Julian sneaks into the study and takes the box. Inside the box they find a map and decide to trace it so they can still have a copy, but return the box to Uncle Quentin. He does this and when they look at the map they notice a Latin word on it. Ingots, meaning gold, and a red cross, meaning that is where the treasure is. They realise the map is a map of Kirrin Island, and the old dungeons on the island. Uncle Quentin announces he has then sold the box to a man, who is thinking about buying Kirrin Island. George is furious and so the four children decide to spend as much time on Kirrin Island as they can, because they realise it will soon be sold. So they decide to camp on Kirrin Island for a few nights, and so take the map with them. Planning on discovering gold, they head down into the dungeons...and then they are able to find the treasure.

Main characters[edit]

  • Julian
  • Dick
  • Georgina (called George)
  • Anne
  • Timmy
  • Aunt Fanny
  • Uncle Quentin

Other Characters[edit]

  • Alf
  • Buyers for Kirrin Island

Film adaptations[edit]

An 8-part Children's Film Foundation film serial was produced in 1957, directed by Gerald Landau.

In early 2010, rumours appeared that there might be a Five on a Treasure Island film to be released in 2012. On 31 May those rumours were confirmed by film maker Sam Mendes on an interview about the upcoming Skyfall. Mendes stated, "A script is under way and is hoped to be in cinemas Spring 2012." Progress on the film was stopped when MGM went bankrupt later in the year.[citation needed]


  • In 1992, Fabbri published Five on a Treasure Island as No.50.

External links[edit]