Ed. w. an introd. and notes by John Richetti
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Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, regarded by many to be first novel in English, is also the original tale of a castaway struggling to survive on a remote desert island. This Penguin Classics is edited with an introduction and notes by John Richetti.
The sole survivor of a shipwreck, Robinson Crusoe is washed up on a desert island. In his journal he chronicles his daily battle to stay alive, as he conquers isolation, fashions shelter and clothes, enlists the help of a native islander who he names 'Friday', and fights off cannibals and mutineers. Written in an age of exploration and enterprise, it has been variously interpreted as an embodiment of British imperialist values, as a portrayal of 'natural man', or as a moral fable. But above all is a brilliant narrative, depicting Crusoe's transformation from terrified survivor to self-sufficient master of an island.
This edition contains a full chronology of Defoe's life and times, explanatory notes, glossary and a critical introduction discussing Robinson Crusoe as a pioneering work of modern psychological realism.Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) had a variety of careers including merchant, soldier, and political pamphleteer. Over the course of his life Daniel Defoe wrote over two hundred and fifty books on economics, history, biography and crime, but is best remembered for the fiction he produced in late life, which includes Robinson Crusoe (1719), Moll Flanders (1722) and Roxana (1724). Defoe had a great influence on the development of the English novel and many consider him to be the first true novelist.
If you enjoyed Robinson Crusoe, you may like Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo, also available in Penguin Classics.
'Robinson Crusoe has a universal appeal, a story that goes right to the core of existence'
"Beyond the end of Robinson Crusoe is a new world of fiction. Even though it did not know itself to be a 'novel,' and even though there were books that we might now call 'novels' published before it, Robinson Crusoe has made itself into a prototype . . . Perhaps because of all the novels that we have read . . . the novelty of Defoe's fiction is the more striking when we return to it. Here it is, at the beginning of things, with its final word reaching out into the future." -from the Introduction by John Mullan
Daniel Defoe (c.1660-1731), one of the most famous writers in English literature, was born in London, the son of James Foe, a butcher. It was Daniel who changed his name to De Foe or Defoe in about 1705. He was interested in politics and opposed King James II. After the Glorious Revolution in 1688 and William III was on the throne, Defoe became one of his personal friends. He became a writer for the government and a satircal writer on various social issues of the time. He turned to full time writing after hearing the inspirational story of a sailor who was rescued after living alone on a desert island in the Pacific, the result being his first novel ROBINSON CRUSOE. Several other adventure stories followed, including MOLL FLANDERS.