In The Black Islan comic, are we really in Scotland or could it be England or even France? Cours d’anglais  en ligne collège 4e 3e.

prof anglais soutien scolaireThe fabulous story of The Black Island takes te heroe and his dog, Snowy to the Scottish coast andmore precisely to a fictitious village named Kiltoch.

Can you spot the differences in the houses when you compare the black and white edition and the coloured one published in 1956?

1938 edition

1938 edition


1956 Edition

1956 Edition

Some of fans believe that the village of Port Righ, (in Scottish Gaellic) or Portree, (in English) on the Scottish  Isle of Skye was the inspiration for the village of Kiltoch. But when you observe the 1938 black and white edition of the book it is clear that the village is more English than Scottish.

map of scotland


Village main street lined with half-timbered houses. Wiltshire, England, United Kingdom

Village main street lined with half-timbered houses. Wiltshire, England, United Kingdom




The architecture looks English, Norman or Flemish but it does not look Scottish. You will find half-timbered houses in Normandy, in Northern France, in Flanders or in the South of England but not in Scotland.


  • What about the pub of the village? Can you see an obvious difference?

    Yes, you are right! The name is different!! In the black and white version it is called: “Ye Dolphin” which is clearly old English, not Scottish!
    The Cambridge dictionary tells us that “ye” is a word meaning « the ». When used in the names of pubs, it makes them seem old.
    Ex: there is a pub called Ye Olde Barn in the village


  • Do you see another striking difference between the two Tintin editions?

    Absolutely, the name of the village itself has changed!! It has changed from ‘Kiltoch’, an invented name to ‘Feilebeag’ in the 1956 version to make it look more Scottish. In Scottish toponymy*,” Feile” refers to ‘generosity’ and ‘beag’ means ‘small’. Feilebeag can also mean ‘small kilt’. (*toponymy= the study of the origin of places’ names)


  • Do you think the black island on the cover looks like a French Island?

L'île d'or is a french island in the south of France.

L’île d’or (Gold Island) is a french island in the south of France.

Yes there is a resemblance, isn’t there? This place is called ‘the gold island’, l’île d’or in France, near Saint-Raphaêl.


  • Quizz questions for you.

    If you find out where the île d’or is, you will find out where one of our famous Prof Express teacher lives. And when I say famous, I am not joking! He makes great videos!!!


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