Crusoe: Daniel Defoe, Robert Knox, and the Creation of a Myth

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Open Road Media, Apr 3, 2012 - Literary Criticism - 368 pages
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A remarkable literary hybrid—part biography, part detective story—about the enduring figure of Robinson Crusoe 
Where did Crusoe come from? Frank explores the intertwined lives of two real men, Daniel Defoe and Robert Knox, and the character and book that emerged from their peculiar conjunction. January 1719. A man sits at a table, writing. Nearly sixty, Daniel Defoe is troubled with gout and mired in political controversy and legal threats. But for the moment he is preoccupied by a younger man on a barren shore—Robinson Crusoe. Several miles south, another old man, Robert Knox, sits bent over a heavy volume—published nearly forty years before. Knox’s Historical Relation was a bestseller when it was published in 1681, just a year after he escaped from Ceylon and returned to England. Where did Crusoe come from? And what is the secret of his endurance? Crusoe explores the intertwined lives of two real men, Daniel Defoe and Robert Knox, and the character and book that emerged from their peculiar conjunction. It is the biography of a book and its hero: the story of Defoe, the man who wrote Robinson Crusoe, and of Robert Knox, the man who was Crusoe.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TheAlternativeOne - LibraryThing

Biography Crusoe is beautiful mix of biography, detective story, and the history of the first recorded men to be stranded on tropical islands. One of the very best biographies I’ve ever read it ... Read full review

Crusoe: Daniel Defoe, Robert Knox, and the Creation of a Myth

User Review  - Margaret Heilbrun - Book Verdict

Daniel Defoe was a pioneer of the novel, writing his first one, Robinson Crusoe (1719), when he was about 60. What inspired that story, which, like Defoe's other major fiction, has remained in print ... Read full review

Contents

Two Writing
Captivated
Shipwrecked by Land
Having But Little and Wanting Lesse
Escape
Another Escape
Stranger Author Captain
Captain Knox Recaptivated
St Helena
Captain Knox and Captain Singleton
Ancient Mariners
Epilogue
List of Illustrations and Maps
Acknowledgements
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Born and educated in America, Katherine Frank is the author of several acclaimed biographies—of Emily Brontė, Mary Kingsley, and Indira Gandhi. She lives in England.

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