Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) had a variety of careers including merchant, soldier, secret agent, and political pamphleteer. He wrote on economics, history, biography and crime but is best remembered for his fiction, which includes Robinson Crusoe (1719), Moll Flanders (1722) and Roxana (1724). John Richetti is Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. He is an expert of 18th-century literature and has published widely on the subject.
'Robinson Crusoe has a universal appeal, a story that goes right to the core of existence' Simon Armitage
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.
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.
Edited with an introduction and notes by John Richetti.