Robinson Crusoe by Defoe, Daniel; Kelly, James William; Keymer, Tom

By Defoe, Daniel; Kelly, James William; Keymer, Tom

Daniel Defoe's enchanting story-telling and imaginatively exact descriptions have ensured that his fiction masquerading as truth is still the most recognized tales in English literature. On one point an easy experience tale, the radical additionally increases profound questions on ethical and religious values, society, and man's abiding acquisitiveness. This new version incorporates a scintillating advent and notes that light up the ancient context

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I. Keymer, Tom. II. Kelly, James William. III. Title. 5—dc22 2006026022 Typeset in Ehrhardt by RefineCatch Limited, Bungay, Suffolk Printed in Great Britain on acid-free paper by Clays Ltd, St Ives plc ISBN 0–19–283342–1 978–0–19–283342–6 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 OXFORD WORLD’S CLASSICS For over 100 years Oxford World’s Classics have brought readers closer to the world’s great literature. Now with over 700 titles—from the 4,000-year-old myths of Mesopotamia to the twentieth century’s greatest novels—the series makes available lesser-known as well as celebrated writing.

Defoe’s first great success came with his satirical poem The True-Born Englishman (1701). The Shortest Way with the Dissenters (1702), an audacious parody of High Anglican extremism, brought him a charge of seditious libel and he was briefly imprisoned. Defoe was employed by successive ministries as a polemicist until about 1717, and continued to write prolifically thereafter in a range of fields including politics, economics, and religion. Between 1719 and 1724, Defoe produced the pioneering fictional narratives on which his reputation has come to rest.

39 In Serious Reflections, he builds on his earlier public self-representations by inviting readers to find autobiographical hints in the disasters suffered by Crusoe. He even uses the term ‘Allegorick History’ to redefine the novel no longer as literal truth (the official pose of the original text) but as something teasingly poised between fact and fiction. Now Robinson Crusoe is an ‘imaginary Story’, but one that in its circumstances reflects the real-life trials of its author: a man who has endured ‘a Life of Wonders in continu’d Storms … been in Slavery worse than Turkish … been taken up at Sea in Distress, rais’d again and depress’d again, and that oftner perhaps in one Man’s Life than ever was known before; Shipwreck’d often, tho’ more by Land than by Sea …’ (Appendix 1, pp.

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