Robinson Crusoe: An Authoritative Text, Contexts, Criticism

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Norton, 1994 - Fiction - 436 pages
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Michael Shinagel has collated the reprint with all six authorizededitions published by Taylor in 1719 to achieve a text that is faithfulto Defoe's original edition.  Annotations assist the reader with obscurewords and idioms, biblical references, and nautical terms.

"Contexts" helps the reader understand the novel's historical andreligious significance.  Included are four contemporary accounts ofmarooned men, Defoe's autobiographical passages on the novel'sallegorical foundation, and aspects of the Puritan emblematic traditionessential for understanding the novel's religious aspects.

"Eighteenth-and Nineteenth-Century Opinions" is a comprehensive studyof early estimations by prominent literary and political figures,including Alexander Pope, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Samuel Johnson, SamuelTaylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, Edgar Allen Poe, Thomas BabingtonMacaulay, Charles Dickens, Karl Marx, and John Stuart Mill.

"Twentieth-Century Criticism" is a collection of fourteen essays (fiveof them new to the Second Edition) that presents a variety ofperspectives on Robinson Crusoe by Virginia Woolf, Ian Watt, EricBerne, Maximillian E. Novak, Frank Budgen, James Joyce, George A.Starr, J. Paul Hunter, James Sutherland, John J. Richetti, LeopoldDamrosch, Jr., John Bender, Michael McKeon, and Carol Houlihan Flynn.

A Chronology of Defoe's life and work and an updated SelectedBibliography are also included.

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About the author (1994)

Daniel Defoe was born Daniel Foe in London, England on September 13, 1660. He changed his surname in 1703, adding the more genteel "De" before his own name to suggest a higher social standing. He was a novelist, journalist, and political agent. His writings covered a wide range of topics. His novels include Robinson Crusoe, Moll Flanders, Roxana, Captain Singleton, and Colonel Jack. He wrote A Tour Thro' the Whole Island of Great Britain, which is an important source of English economic life, and ghost stories including A True Relation of the Apparition of One Mrs. Veal. He also wrote satirical poems and pamphlets and edited a newspaper. He was imprisoned and pilloried for his controversial work, The Shortest Way with the Dissenters, which suggested that all non-Conformist ministers be hanged. He died on April 24, 1731.

Michael Shinagel received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, where he is Senior Lecturer on English and Dean of Continuing Education and University Extension. He has also taught at Cornell University and Union College. He is the author of Daniel Defoe and Middle-Class Gentility, editor of A Concordance to the Poems of Jonathan Swift, and co-editor of Harvard Scholars in English, 1890-1990. His articles and reviews have appeared in various scholarly journals.

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