Who has not dreamed of life on an exotic isle, far away from civilization? Here is the novel which has inspired countless imitations by lesser writers, none of which equal the power and originality of Defoe's famous book. Robinson Crusoe, set ashore on an island after a terrible storm at sea, is forced to make do with only a knife, some tobacco, and a pipe. He learns how to build a canoe, make bread, and endure endless solitude. That is, until, twenty-four years later, when he confronts another human being. First published in 1719, "Robinson Crusoe" has been praised by such writers as James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Samuel Johnson as one of the greatest novels in the English language.
Daniel Defoe (c.1660-1731), one of the most famous writers in English literature, was born in London, the son of James Foe, a butcher. It was Daniel who changed his name to De Foe or Defoe in about 1705. He was interested in politics and opposed King James II. After the Glorious Revolution in 1688 and William III was on the throne, Defoe became one of his personal friends. He became a writer for the government and a satircal writer on various social issues of the time. He turned to full time writing after hearing the inspirational story of a sailor who was rescued after living alone on a desert island in the Pacific, the result being his first novel ROBINSON CRUSOE. Several other adventure stories followed, including MOLL FLANDERS.