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With Robinson Crusoe, Defoe wrote what is regarded as the first English novel, and created one of the most popular and enduring myths in literature. Written in an age of exploration and enterprise, it has been variously interpreted as an embodiment of British imperialist values, as a portrayal of ‘natural man’, or as a moral fable. But above all it is a brilliant narrative, depicting Crusoe’s transformation from terrified survivor to self-sufficient master of an island.
About the Author
Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) had a variety of careers including merchant, soldier, secret agent, and political pamphleteer. He wrote on economics, history, biography and crime but is best remembered for his fiction, which includes Robinson Crusoe (1719), Moll Flanders (1722) and Roxana (1724). John Richetti is Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. He is an expert of 18th-century literature and has published widely on the subject.