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January 26 , 2008

Robinson Crusoe and the Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe


Running away to sea to escape a legal career, Robinson Crusoe ends up having rather more excitement than he'd bargained for in this infamous adventure yarn by Daniel Defoe. Only just surviving his first storm at sea, Crusoe goes on to become a successful merchant, until he's seized by pirates on his second voyage. He manages to escape and reinvents himself once more in his second career as a plantation owner. Lured to sea again as part of a slave-gathering expedition, Crusoe finds himself shipwrecked off the coast of Trinidad and in his third and most famous role - the original castaway.

Crusoe salvages what he can from his wreck and establishes an existence on the island, as well as fitting in a religious conversion, adopting a pet parrot and goat, saving Friday from cannibals, seizing a ship from its mutineers and sails her back to England, to find that things have changed in the 3 decades that he's been away...

Published in 1719, although many early readers initially assumed that Robinson Crusoe was a factual autobiography of a real man named Crusoe, the book was actually the first example of realistic fiction. It was a popular innovation, being reprinted four times in its first year, and going on to have a huge influence on writers as diverse as Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Beatrix Potter, and has been adapted many times for stage and screen.

Unusually, this edition also includes The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, where the action returns to the island and other exotic locations including Madagascar, Cambodia and Siberia. The original map of the island from the 1719 edition is included, plus a new map showing Crusoe's route, as well as a Foreword by Ray Mears.
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