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.
Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) was a British novelist and journalist. Evan R. Davis is Associate Professor of English at Hampden-Sydney College, Hampden-Sydney, Virginia.