eReaders Blog

The Future Of Reading

FREE e-book: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Posted by admin on May 26, 2010

[tweetmeme]

Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe, is a novel by Daniel Defoe. First published in 1719, it is sometimes considered to be the first novel in English. The book is a fictional autobiography of the title character—a castaway who spends 28 years on a remote tropical island near Venezuela, encountering Native Americans, captives, and mutineers before being rescued.

The story was likely influenced by the real-life Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish castaway who lived four years on the Pacific island called “Más a Tierra” (in 1966 its name was changed to Robinson Crusoe Island), Chile. However, the details of Crusoe’s island were probably based on the Caribbean island of Tobago, since that island lies a short distance north of the Venezuelan coast near the mouth of the Orinoco river, and in sight of the island of Trinidad. It is also likely that Defoe was inspired by the Latin or English translations of Ibn Tufail’s Hayy ibn Yaqdhan, an earlier novel also set on a desert island. Another source for Defoe’s novel may have been Robert Knox’s account of his abduction by the King of Ceylon in 1659 in “An Historical Account of the Island Ceylon,” Glasgow: James MacLehose and Sons (Publishers to the University), 1911.

PLOT SUMMARY

Crusoe (the family name transcribed from the German name “Kreutznaer” or “Kreutznär”) sets sail from the Queen’s Dock in Hull on a sea voyage in September 1651, against the wishes of his parents, who want him to stay home and assume a career in law. After a tumultuous journey that sees his ship wrecked by a vicious storm, his lust for the sea remains so strong that he sets out to sea again. This journey too ends in disaster as the ship is taken over by Salé pirates, and Crusoe becomes the slave of a Moor. After two years of slavery, he manages to escape with a boat and a boy named Xury; later, Crusoe is befriended by the Captain of a Portuguese ship off the western coast of Africa. The ship is en route to Brazil. There, with the help of the captain, Crusoe becomes owner of a plantation.

Years later, he joins an expedition to bring slaves from Africa, but he is shipwrecked in a storm about forty miles out to sea on an island (which he calls the Island of Despair) near the mouth of the Orinoco river on September 30, 1659. His companions all die. Having overcome his despair, he fetches arms, tools, and other supplies from the ship before it breaks apart and sinks. He proceeds to build a fenced-in habitation near a cave which he excavates himself. He keeps a calendar by making marks in a wooden cross built by himself, hunts, grows corn and rice, dries grapes to make raisins for the winter months, learns to make pottery, raises goats, etc., using tools created from stone and wood which he harvests on the island, and adopts a small parrot. He reads the Bible and suddenly becomes religious, thanking God for his fate in which nothing is missing but society.

Years later, he discovers native cannibals who occasionally visit the island to kill and eat prisoners. At first he plans to kill them for committing an abomination, but later realizes that he has no right to do so as the cannibals do not knowingly commit a crime. He dreams of obtaining one or two servants by freeing some prisoners; and indeed, when a prisoner manages to escape, Crusoe helps him, naming his new companion “Friday” after the day of the week he appeared. Crusoe then teaches him English and converts him to Christianity.

After another party of natives arrives to partake in a cannibal feast, Crusoe and Friday manage to kill most of the natives and save two of the prisoners. One is Friday’s father and the other is a Spaniard, who informs Crusoe that there are other Spaniards shipwrecked on the mainland. A plan is devised wherein the Spaniard would return with Friday’s father to the mainland and bring back the others, build a ship, and sail to a Spanish port.

Before the Spaniards return, an English ship appears; mutineers have taken control of the ship and intend to maroon their former captain on the island. Crusoe and the ship’s captain strike a deal, in which he helps the captain and the loyalist sailors retake the ship from the mutineers, whereupon they intend to leave the worst of the mutineers on the island. Before they leave for England, Crusoe shows the former mutineers how he lived on the island, and states that there will be more men coming. Crusoe leaves the island December 19, 1686, and arrives back in England June 11, 1687. He learns that his family believed him dead and there was nothing in his father’s will for him. Crusoe then departs for Lisbon to reclaim the profits of his estate in Brazil, which has granted him a large amount of wealth. In conclusion, he takes his wealth over land to England to avoid traveling at sea. Friday comes with him and along the way they endure one last adventure together as they fight off hundreds of famished wolves while crossing the Pyrenees.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

 

DOWNLOAD: PDF | EPUB | MOBI | TXT | HTML

All files are from the Project Gutenberg, except PDF version (from Planet eBook). If you want to use this e-books, you must agree with the Project Gutenberg license and/or the Planet eBook conditions of use. Thanks.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: