Dusty Diamonds Cut and Polished

Af: R. M. Ballantyne



Kindly Mr Twitter comes across an abandoned baby one night on his way home from work. The child has been left there for him to find by a desperate, poverty-stricken woman named Mrs Frog, who hopes for a better life for her child. He takes the infant home, where he and his wife Mariar name her Mita and care for her as if she were one of their own children. The lives and problems of the rich and poor continue to intersect throughout this fascinating story by prolific children’s author R.M. Ballantyne. R.M. Ballantyne (1825-1894) was a Scottish artist and prolific author of mostly children’s fiction. Born in Edinburgh, Ballantyne was the ninth of ten children. At the age of 16 Ballantyne moved to Canada, where he worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company, travelling all over the country to trade for fur. He returned to Scotland in 1847 following the death of his father, and it was then that he began his literary career in earnest, writing over 100 children’s adventure books over the course of his life. Stories such as ‘The Coral Island’ and ‘The Young Fur Traders’ were hugely popular, and many of them drew on his own experiences of travelling throughout Canada. A stickler for detail, Ballantyne continued to travel widely to research the backgrounds and settings for his exciting stories. His tales became an inspiration for authors of the future, including ‘Treasure Island’ novelist Robert Louis Stevenson. Ballantyne spent the latter period of his life living in London and Italy for the sake of his health. He died in Rome in 1894 at the age of 68.

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