Daniel Defoe’s first novel, published in 1719, is considered by many to be the first novel in English, and its success was so enormous that by the end of the 19th century it had spawned more translations and versions than any other English book. Its central importance to the canon lies not just in being first, but also in being one of the best, and in Crusoe the author created an everyman character. Defoe’s castawayshipwrecked, imperiled, and facing a host of elemental challengeslives an archetypal life of survival, adventure, and personal development. Children of all ages, not to mention their parents, delight in cabin boy Jim Hawkins and the treasure hunt he undertakes in this rollicking narrative of cliff-hanging adventure. But more than a children’s classic, the novel lays claim to being one of the greatest feats of storytelling in the English language, with characters such as the unforgettable Long John Silver becoming part of the cultural consciousness. Stevenson’s most famous and enduringly popular work, this coming-of-age story will captivate both adults and children for as long as stories are told.
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