Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe

by Daniel Defoe

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Overview

Shipwrecked in a storm at sea, Robinson Crusoe is washed up on a remote and desolate island. As he struggles to piece together a life for himself, Crusoe's physical, moral and spiritual values are tested to the limit. For 24 years he remains in solitude and learns to tame and master the island, until he finally comes across another human being. Considered a classic literary masterpiece, and frequently interpreted as a comment on the British Imperialist approach at the time, Defoe's fable was and still is revered as the very first English novel.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781627937535
Publisher: Start Classics
Publication date: 11/01/2013
Series: Start Classics
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 254
Sales rank: 1,023,036
File size: 441 KB
Age Range: 6 - 18 Years

About the Author

Daniel Defoe (1660-1731), born Daniel Foe, was an English trader, writer, journalist and spy. His most famous novel, Robinson Crusoe, is second only to the Bible in its number of translations. Robert Ingpen is a world-renowned artist and author who has designed, illustrated, and written more than 100 books. In 1986 he was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for his contribution to children’s literature.

Read an Excerpt

I was born in the Year 1632, in the City of York, of a good Family, tho not of that Country, my Father being a Foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull: He got a good Estate by Merchandise, and leaving off his Trade, lived afterward at York, from whence he had married my Mother, whose Relations were named Robinson, a very good Family in that Country, and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but by the usual Corruption of Words in England, we are now called, nay we call our selves, and write our Name Crusoe, and so my Companions always call’d me.
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Robinson Crusoe"
by .
Copyright © 2008 Daniel Defoe.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction
Daniel Defoe: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text

The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe

Appendix A: Daniel Defoe, Preface and Publisher’s Introduction to Serious Reflections During the Life and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1720)

Appendix B: From Charles Gildon, The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Mr. D—— De F— (1719)

Appendix C: Castaway Narratives

  1. From Ibn Ṭufayl, The Improvement of Human Reason, Exhibited in the Life of Hai Ebn Yokdhan (1708)
  2. Accounts of Alexander Selkirk
    1. From Woodes Rogers, A Cruising Voyage round the World (1712)
    2. Richard Steele, The Englishman, no. 26 (1713)
  3. From Penelope Aubin, The Strange Adventures of the Count de Vinevil and his Family (1721)
  4. From Leendert Hasenbosch, An Authentick Relation of the Many Hardships and Sufferings of a Dutch Sailor (1728)

Appendix D: Explorations of Solitude

  1. From Richard Baxter, “Of Conversing with God in Solitude” (1664)
  2. From Mary, Lady Chudleigh, “Of Solitude” (1710)
  3. From Anne Kingsmill Finch, Countess of Winchilsea, “The Petition for an Absolute Retreat” (1713)
  4. From Daniel Defoe, “Of Solitude” (1720)
  5. Alexander Pope, “Ode on Solitude” (1717)
  6. From Edmund Burke, “Society and Solitude” (1757)
  7. From Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emilius and Sophia (1762)
  8. William Cowper, “Verses Supposed to be Written by Alexander Selkirk” (1782)
  9. Charlotte Smith, Sonnet XLIV, “Written in the Church-yard at Middleton in Sussex” (1789)
  10. From Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere” (1798)
  11. William Wordsworth, “Nutting” (1800)
  12. William Cowper, “The Castaway” (1803)

Appendix E: Economic Contexts

  1. From John Locke, “Of Property,” Two Treatises on Government (1698)
  2. From Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776)
  3. From Karl Marx, Capital (1867)
  4. From Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1920–21)

Appendix F: Defoe on Slavery and the African Trade

  1. From Reformation of Manners, A Satyr (1702)
  2. From An Essay upon the Trade to Africa (1711)
  3. From A Review of the State of the British Nation (1711, 1712)
  4. From The History and Remarkable Life of the Truly Honourable Col. Jacque, Commonly call’d Col. Jack (1722)
  5. From A Plan of the English Commerce (1728)

Appendix G: Cannibalism

  1. From Michel de Montaigne, “Of Cannibals” (tr. 1685–86)
  2. From Charles de Rochefort, The History of the Caribby-Islands (tr. 1666)
  3. From William Dampier, “Of the Reports about Cannibals” (1703)
  4. From Daniel Defoe, Serious Reflections During the Life and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1720)

Appendix H: Illustrations of Friday’s Rescue

  1. Anonymous (1720)
  2. Anonymous (1722)
  3. Clément Pierre Marillier (1787)
  4. Charles Ansell (1790)
  5. Thomas Stothard (1790)
  6. George Cruikshank (1831)
  7. J.J. Grandville (1840)
  8. Phiz (Hablot Knight Browne) (1846)
  9. Jules Fesquet (1877)
  10. Otis Turner (1913)

Select Bibliography

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"There is nothing archaic about Vance's miraculous reading of this classic tale.... This stellar audiobook brings out all the elements of this original castaway tale." —-Booklist Starred Audio Review

EBOOK COMMENTARY

"There is nothing archaic about Vance's miraculous reading of this classic tale.... This stellar audiobook brings out all the elements of this original castaway tale." —-Booklist Starred Audio Review




Reading Group Guide

1. Robinson Crusoe is regarded as one of the first English novels. What were the qualities that defined the English novel? How has the meaning of the word "novel" changed? Do we use the term more loosely now or has it evolved into something entirely different?

2. Defoe's novel is also thought to be one of the earliest examples of the use of psychological realism. Defoe posits himself as "editor" and Crusoe as the author. How does his use of voice and point of view differ from that of his contemporaries? How much of his fiction might be influenced by his background in journalism and nonfiction?

3. How much of Robinson Crusoe is supposed to be "real" and journalistic and how much is intended to be allegorical? How does Defoe use Crusoe to espouse certain values? In what sense is the book a morality story?

4. Examine Crusoe's relationships with Xury and Friday. Critics have seen Robinson Crusoe as representative of British colonialism and imperialism, glorifying the subjugation of other cultures. How does Defoe seem to comment on the institution of slavery and issues of race?

5. How do Robinson Crusoe's experiences on the island comment on the society from which he has been separated?

6. How does what we now call the Protestant work ethic pervade Defoe's novel? Robinson seems to channel all of his energy into the pursuit of manual labor; the story is a series of daily routines and a tribute to work. To what end? Is his newfound work ethic accompanied by a spiritual awakening?

7. How is value established on Crusoe's island? How does the language of economics inform the text?

8. What is the nature of RobinsonCrusoe's relationship with his environment? Does he regard his surroundings as hostile? Does he seek to re-create the landscape?




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