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Robinson Crusoe 

Robinson Crusoe

Written by: Daniel Defoe
Edited by: Evan R. Davis

Series: Broadview Editions

Publication Date: April 26, 2010
422pp • Paperback / PDF / ePub
ISBN: 9781551119359 / 1551119358

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Robinson Crusoe is one of the most famous literary characters in history, and his story has spawned hundreds of retellings. Inspired by the life of Alexander Selkirk, a sailor who lived for several years on a Pacific island, the novel tells the story of Crusoe's survival after shipwreck on an island, interaction with the mainland's native inhabitants, and eventual rescue. Read variously as economic fable, religious allegory, or imperialist fantasy, Crusoe has never lost its appeal as one of the most compelling adventure stories of all time.

In addition to an introduction and helpful notes, this Broadview Edition includes a wide range of appendices that situate Defoe's 1719 novel amidst castaway narratives, economic treatises, reports of cannibalism, explorations of solitude, and Defoe's own writings on slavery and the African trade. A final appendix presents images of Crusoe's rescue of Friday from a dozen of the most significant illustrated editions of the novel published between 1719 and 1920. 

Comments:

"Evan Davis has done an excellent job of bringing together many of the strands of thought that Defoe put into The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe—his interests in travel, economics, religion, and the experience of solitude—and putting them into an attractive format. Professor Davis supplies examples of texts on related topics such as solitude, cannibalism, and castaway narratives, along with a group of wonderful illustrations, including a large number of Crusoe and Friday, showing everything from the sympathetic and helpful Crusoe to Crusoe the colonialist and exploiter. These are well chosen to make points about the ways in which Crusoe fits into the interests of post-colonial criticism. Professor Davis is also very good in his introduction on the ambiguity with which Crusoe treats Friday. Is he a friend, a servant, or a slave? Or all three? This will be a useful and indeed an exciting text for students at all levels." – Maximillian E. Novak, University of California at Los Angeles

"This edition greatly enriches the reader's appreciation of Robinson Crusoe both as a classic that transcends its historical origins and as a text that reflects a specific historical context. In each role, the novel can be viewed from many perspectives, ranging from those embodied in other writings by Defoe and his contemporaries to later ideas about psychology, economics, religion, and post-colonialism, and the introduction and appendices give the reader access to an extraordinarily copious array of these perspectives. The introduction, moreover, goes well beyond compiling viewpoints: while elegantly marshaling information, Evan R. Davis also contests received opinion and offers fresh insights. This is an extremely useful edition for students, general readers, and even those already well-acquainted with Defoe." – Oscar Kenshur, Indiana University

"Evan R. Davis's fine edition of Robinson Crusoe for Broadview joins an already well-populated field of classroom paperbacks of Defoe's first novel….The Broadview edition holds its own…and offers much to recommend itself. It provides everything one would want from a text for classroom use (or for reading outside the classroom, for that matter): a reliable text, annotations that are clear and sufficient without being obtrusive, and an intelligent and thoughtful editor’s introduction. Moreover, it provides a rich selection of supplementary materials, including a truly surprising number of illustrations, aimed at provoking classroom discussion or simply thoughtful reflection." - Benjamin F. Pauley, Eastern Connecticut State University, reviewed in Digital Defoe

Evan R. Davis is Elliott Associate Professor of English at Hampden-Sydney College, Hampden-Sydney, Virginia.

Table of Contents: [Back to Top]

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Daniel Defoe: A Brief Chronology

A Note on the Text

Robinson Crusoe

Appendix A:  Preface and Publisher's Introduction to Serious Reflections 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 Tufayl, Hai Ebn Yokdhan (tr. 1708)
  2. Accounts of Alexander Selkirk
  3. Richard Steele, The Englishman, No. 26 (1713)
  4. From Penelope Aubin, The Strange Adventures of the Count de Vinevil and his Family (1721)
  5. From Leendert Hasenbosch, An Authentick Relation of the Many Hardships and Sufferings of a Dutch Sailor (1728)

Appendix D: Uses of Solitude

  1. Richard Baxter, "Of Conversing with God in Solitude" (1664)   
  2. From Mary, Lady Chudleigh, "Of Solitude" (1710)
  3. From Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea, "The Petition for an Absolute Retreat" (1713)
  4. Daniel Defoe, "Of Solitude" (1720)
  5. Alexander Pope, "Ode on Solitude" (1736)
  6. Edmund Burke, "Society and Solitude" (1757)
  7. From Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emilius and Sophia (tr. 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" (1698)
  2. From Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (1776)
  3. From Karl Marx, Capital (tr. 1887)
  4. From Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (tr. 1930)

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 Colonel Jack (1722)
  5. From A Plan of the English Commerce (1728)

Appendix G: Cannibalism

  1. Michel de Montaigne, "Of Cannibals" (tr. 1711)
  2. From César de Rochefort, The History of the Caribby-Islands (tr. 1666)
  3. William Dampier, "Of the Reports about Cannibals" (1703)
  4. From Daniel Defoe, Serious Reflections (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 (director) (1913)

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Robinson Crusoe

2010 • 422pp • Paperback • 9781551119359 / 1551119358

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Broadview Press acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund, and also acknowledges the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation. Freehand Books, an imprint of Broadview, acknowledges the support of the Canadian Council of the Arts.