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Robinson Crusoe (1719)

by Daniel Defoe

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1)

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23,561299154 (3.56)1 / 598
Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

Robinson Crusoe is the fictional autobiography of the title character. As a young man, Crusoe sets out from England on a disastrous sea voyage. His passion for seafaring remains undiminished and so he sets out again, only to be shipwrecked a third time. His journey takes him to Brazil where he becomes a plantation owner. A third and final shipwrecking, however, leaves him stranded for 28 years on a remote island. There he becomes a devout Christian and believes his life lacks nothing but society.

The work is sometimes credited with being the first English novel.

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 Newbery Challenge: ROBINSON CRUSOE4 unread / 4EGBERTINA, Wednesday 10:23pm

» See also 598 mentions

English (269)  Spanish (12)  Dutch (4)  French (4)  Swedish (3)  Italian (2)  Slovak (1)  Catalan (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Finnish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (299)
Showing 1-5 of 269 (next | show all)
O argumento básico de Robinson Crusoé é universalmente conhecido. Isolado em sua “Ilha do Desespero” (ao largo da atual Venezuela) após um trágico naufrágio, o marujo inglês luta pela sobrevivência valendo-se de todos os escassos meios a seu alcance. Com o tempo e os utensílios recuperados do navio, ele chega a se tornar um competente marceneiro e agricultor, além de pastor de cabras e profundo conhecedor da Bíblia - a única leitura disponível. Sem contato com qualquer ser humano por mais de duas décadas, certo dia Crusoé salva um nativo do assassinato por canibais que haviam aportado numa das praias da ilha, e logo o faz seu criado, dando-lhe o nome de Sexta-Feira. Alguns anos mais tarde, o acaso leva um navio inglês às proximidades da ilha, dando início a um longo conflito com a tripulação amotinada. O livro também conta com uma alentada introdução de John Richetti, professor emérito de literatura inglesa na Universidade Columbia e reconhecido especialista na obra de Daniel Defoe.
  saladeleituraberna_ | Jul 2, 2024 |
A surprisingly good read, with some exciting passages - though the writing somewhat peters out towards the end of the book. Nevertheless, a classic which is seen as the forerunner modern novel which everybody should read. ( )
  INeilC | Jun 17, 2024 |
“All of our discontents for what we want appear to me to spring from want of thankfulness for what we have.”

I read Robinson Crusoe as it is one of the classics, and I could not be certain if I had read it as a child or not. Written by Puritan Englishman Daniel Defoe, many consider this to be the first English novel. It was published in 1719, but set in the 1650s to 1680s. The book was a great success and became one of the most widely published books in history.

The story has since been thought to be based on the life of Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish castaway, who lived for four years on a Pacific island called "Más a Tierra", now part of Chile. It was originally penned under the name Robinson Crusoe and thus mistakenly thought to be a true story.

Robinson leaves Yorkshire as a young man, against his father’s wishes, to go to sea. He encounters a huge storm, is miserable and shipwrecked and swears to never to go to sea again. But after getting drunk with some sailors decides he is born to be a sailor and heads off again. This time he is captured by pirates and forced to become a slave. After a few years of harsh treatment he escapes with a boy called Xury, and despite having had firsthand experience and reason to empathise with the lot of slaves Crusoe decides to make Xury his slave. He sells Xury to the captain of a Portuguese ship and makes his way to Brazil with them where he buys a plantation. Having apparently learnt nothing from his experiences about either sailing or slavery he then makes another voyage to get slaves from Africa for his plantation but is shipwrecked.

Robison finds himself on a deserted island off the coast of Venezuela, probably based on Tobago. He manages to salvage goods off the ship and sets himself to building a dwelling, planting corn, domesticating goats and the like. He also finds a Bible and becomes very religious, repenting for all the sins of his youth. He gains insight into the evils of his former life and behaviour and ponders about whether his castaway life is punishment for his sins, although interestingly never seems to have any regrets about his involvement in slavery, which actually has brought him to this point.

He then discovers “barbarous savages” landing on his island to partake in cannibalistic feasting on their enemies. On one of these visits he manages to free the intended victim, names him Friday, and guess what, makes him a slave. Eventually Robinson and Friday assist a marooned captain to regain his ship from mutineers and return to England.

I would have to say I did enjoy the parts describing Crusoe’s survival and challenges, even though this would have been far more impressive and intriguing if it had actually happened. He did seem relatively fortunate as a castaway to have a ship to plunder for goods and a seemingly endless supply of gunpowder, such that he still had a quantity to give away after 28 years.

On the other hand, although I am used to books from previous eras containing racist and colonial attitudes, and I try to view them in their context, in this instance it was extreme. I have read many other older works of fiction that are nowhere near as flagrantly supportive of slavery and entrenched in their belief in white superiority. In fact not too long after the time this book was authored my children’s ancestors were actively engaged in the anti-slavery movement. I kept on reading, waiting for the moment of insight when he realised that “these barbarous savages” were fellow humans and no better or worse than he, but other than learning to appreciate Friday’s nature, he never makes this quantum shift.

The other thing that was disappointing was the anticlimactic nature of his return to England. There is no description of how he felt, how he was received or anything other than an account of his finances. He goes on to wrap up the significant events of his life in one paltry sentence, "In the meantime, I in part settled myself here; for, first of all, I married, and that not either to my disadvantage or dissatisfaction, and had three children, two sons and one daughter; but my wife dying, and my nephew coming home with good success from a voyage to Spain, my inclination to go abroad, and his importunity, prevailed, and engaged me to go in his ship as a private trader to the East Indies; this was in the year 1694.” And off he goes again.

So overall 2.5 stars for me. Respect for penning the first novel, creating the adventure genre, and inspiring the popular imagination about sea-faring voyages, shipwrecks and remote tropical islands. This has spawned many other famous books and films. But the rampant colonialism was a decided negative for me. ( )
  mimbza | Apr 27, 2024 |
Sure to offend those who insist on applying 21st century mores to a novel published in 1719, but for the rest of us it is a rip-roaring good adventure and an interesting glimpse into the 18th century worldview. Nice illustrations too. ( )
  NurseBob | Mar 9, 2024 |
definately a book of it's time (white englishman is a higher moral ethical and valuable animal than both black men and the spanish/portuguese), but interesting to read nevertheless ( )
  nordie | Oct 14, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 269 (next | show all)
“Robinson Crusoe,” though, remains something truly special: It belongs in that small category of classics — others are “The Odyssey” and “Don Quixote” — that we feel we’ve read even if we haven’t. Retellings for children and illustrations, like those by N.C. Wyeth, have made its key scenes universally recognizable.... A classic is a book that generations have found worth returning to and arguing with. Vividly written, replete with paradoxes and troubling cultural attitudes, revealing a deep strain of supernaturalism beneath its realist surface, “Robinson Crusoe” is just such a classic and far more than a simple adventure story for kids.
A friend of mine, a Welsh blacksmith, was twenty-five years old and could neither read nor write, when he heard a chapter of Robinson read aloud in a farm kitchen. Up to that moment he had sat content, huddled in his ignorance, but he left that farm another man. There were day-dreams, it appeared, divine day-dreams, written and printed and bound, and to be bought for money and enjoyed at pleasure. Down he sat that day, painfully learned to read Welsh, and returned to borrow the book. It had been lost, nor could he find another copy but one that was in English. Down he sat once more, learned English, and at length, and with entire delight, read Robinson... It was the scene of Crusoe at the wreck, if I remember rightly, that so bewitched my blacksmith. Nor is the fact surprising. Every single article the castaway recovers from the hulk is “a joy for ever” to the man who reads of them. They are the things that should be found, and the bare enumeration stirs the blood.
added by SnootyBaronet | editCornhill Magazine, Robert Louis Stevenson
Crusoe has been called a kind of Protestant monk, and it is true that he turns the chance of his isolation into an anchorite’s career. The story is one of spiritual realization — almost half a lifetime spent on contemplation works profound changes, whatever the subject’s religion. We can watch Crusoe become, year by year, a better, wiser man... Robinson Crusoe may still be the greatest English novel. Surely it is written with a mastery that has never been surpassed. It is not only as convincing as real life. It is as deep and as superficial as direct experience itself.
added by SnootyBaronet | editSaturday Review of Literature, Kenneth Rexroth

» Add other authors (587 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Defoe, Danielprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abbott, Elenore PlaistedIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Anthony, NigelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
AviForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Becker, May LambertonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bown, DerickIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buddingh', CeesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Casaletto, TomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cortázar, JulioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crowley, Joseph DonaldEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dell'Acqua, EdgardoIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duvoisin, RogerIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eguía, Marta SusanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Falké, PierreIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Finnemore, J.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grandville, JeanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hadden, J. CuthbertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herder, RonaldEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hodges, JimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keith, RonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kelly, James Williamsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kredel, FritzIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Loerakker, CoIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, Norbertsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paget, WalterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pocock, Guy N.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Richetti, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robertson, WMEngraversecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ross, AngusEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rowlands, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Swados, HarveyAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, GeoffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vincent, OdetteIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, LyndIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wehnert, Edward HenryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, Edward ArthurIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winter, MiloIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woolf, VirginiaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyeth, N.C.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zwiers, M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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"I was born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good family, though 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 ourselves, and write our name Crusoe, and so my companions always called me.
[FOREWORD] Ever since that day in April early in the eighteenth century when Defoe's Robinson Crusoe was first published, the book has been continuously in print.

-- Kathleen Lines in
Sir Francis Meynell's series of Nonesuch Cygnets (1968)
and Everyman's Library of Children's Classics (1993)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

Robinson Crusoe is the fictional autobiography of the title character. As a young man, Crusoe sets out from England on a disastrous sea voyage. His passion for seafaring remains undiminished and so he sets out again, only to be shipwrecked a third time. His journey takes him to Brazil where he becomes a plantation owner. A third and final shipwrecking, however, leaves him stranded for 28 years on a remote island. There he becomes a devout Christian and believes his life lacks nothing but society.

The work is sometimes credited with being the first English novel.


No library descriptions found.

Book description
Robinson Crusoe, the highly acclaimed novel by Daniel Defoe, is a literary classic which is enjoyed by readers of all ages. The story deals with the life of a middle-class Englishman who forsakes convention to pursue his ambition to go to sea. After surviving capture by Turkish pirates and escaping from enslavement, he embarks on his pivotal voyage. The young Crusoe is shipwrecked on an island and for twenty-four years is a solitary castaway. Emerging from the background of a romantic adventure story is Defoe's exposition on isolation, self-reliance and companionship. Since 1719 this book has enticed an audience who, like Crusoe, long to be free from the constrictions of society.
Robinson Crusoe was interested in adventures and he wanted to spend his life on the adventure. One day one of his friends asked him if he wants to be sail...and then his story will begin.
Haiku summary
He leaves home to sail
He ends up marooned alone
finds Friday and leaves
- GS

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