by Daniel Defoe
In Defoe's early life he experienced first-hand some of the most unusual occurrences in English history: in 1665, 70,000 were killed by the Great Plague of London. The Great Fire of London (1666) left standing only Defoe's and two other homes in his neighbourhood. In 1667, when Defoe was probably about seven years old, a Dutch fleet sailed up the Medway via the River Thames and attacked Chatham. By the time he was about 10, Defoe's mother Annie had died. His parents were Presbyterian dissenters; he was educated in a dissenting academy at Newington Green run by Charles Morton and is believed to have attended the church there. During this period, England was not tolerant of all forms of religious belief. Roman Catholics were feared and hated. Dissenters refused to conform to the services of the Church of England; they were despised and oppressed. In Defoe's time, the Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, better known as the "Spanish Inquisition" was at its height. It was not formally abolished until 1834.
In 1685, Defoe joined the ill-fated Monmouth Rebellion but gained a pardon by which he escaped the Bloody Assizes of Judge George Jeffreys. William III was crowned in 1688, and Defoe immediately became one of his close allies and a secret agent.
Map from Book Drum
Possible Prototypes for Crusoe's Island
In 2005, Japanese explorer Daisuke Takahashi claimed to have found the cave Selkirk lived in 300 years ago on the remote Isla Robinson Crusoe, off the coast of Chile.
Isla Robinson Crusoe belongs to an archipelago of three islands situated 674km off the west coast of South America. They consist of Robinson Crusoe (formerly Más a Tierra or Aguas Buenas) and the smaller Alejandro Selkirk and Santa Clara. from Book Drum
Robinson Crusoe /ˌrɒbɪnsən ˈkruːsoʊ/ is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published on 25 April 1719. Epistolary, confessional, and didactic in form, the book is a fictional autobiography of the title character (whose birth name is Robinson Kreutznaer)—a castaway who spends 28 years on a remote tropical island near Trinidad, encountering cannibals, captives, and mutineers before being rescued.
The story is widely perceived to have been influenced by the life of Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish castaway who lived for four years on the South Pacific ,"Más a Tierra", situated will below the Tropic of Capricorn near Chile. In 1966 its name was changed to Robinson Crusoe Island. However, other possible sources have been suggested for the text, like the Latin or English translations of a book by the Andalusian-Arab Muslim polymath Ibn Tufail Ibn Tufail's Hayy ibn Yaqdhan, an earlier novel also set on a desert island. In his 2003 Book "In Search of Robinson Crusoe", Tim Severin contends that the account of Henry Pitman in a short book chronicling his escape from a Caribbean penal colony and subsequent shipwrecking and desert island misadventures, is the inspiration for the story.
Despite its simple narrative style, Robinson Crusoe was well received in the literary world and is often credited as marking the beginning of realistic fiction as a literary genre. Before the end of 1719 the book had already run through four editions, and it has gone on to become one of the most widely published books in history, spawning numerous sequels and adaptations for stage, film, and television.
Crusoe (the family name corrupted from the German name "Kreutznaer") sets sail from the Queen's Dock in Hull on a sea voyage in August 1651, against his parents' wishes, who want him to pursue a career, possibly in law. After a tumultuous journey where his ship is wrecked in a 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 (the Salé Rovers) and Crusoe is enslaved by a Moor. Two years later, he escapes in a boat with a boy named Xury; a Captain of a Portuguese ship off the west coast of Africa rescues him. The ship is en route to Brazil. With the captain's help, Crusoe procures a plantation.
Years later, Crusoe 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. 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, in sight of Trinidad.Only he and three animals, the captain's dog and two cats, survive the shipwreck. Overcoming his despair, he fetches arms, tools, and other supplies from the ship before it breaks apart and sinks. He builds a fenced-in habitat near a cave which he excavates. By making marks in a wooden cross, he creates a calendar. By using tools salvaged from the ship, and ones he makes himself, he hunts, grows barley and rice, dries grapes to make raisins, learns to make pottery, and raises goats. He also adopts a small parrot. He reads the Bible and becomes religious, thanking God for his fate in which nothing is missing but human society.
More years pass and Crusoe 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 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; when a prisoner escapes, 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 more natives arrive to partake in a cannibal feast, Crusoe and Friday kill most of the natives and save two prisoners. One is Friday's father and the other is a Spaniard, who informs Crusoe about other Spaniards shipwrecked on the mainland. A plan is devised wherein the Spaniard would return to the mainland with Friday's father and bring back the others, build a ship, and sail to a Spanish port.
Before the Spaniards return, an English ship appears; mutineers have commandeered the vessel and intend to maroon their captain on the island. Crusoe and the ship's captain strike a deal in which Crusoe helps the captain and the loyal sailors retake the ship, leaving the worst mutineers on the island. Before embarking for England, Crusoe shows the mutineers how he survived on the island and states that there will be more men coming.
Crusoe leaves the island 19 December 1686 and arrives in England on 11 June 1687 where he learns that his family believed him dead; as a result, he was left nothing in his father's will. Crusoe departs for Lisbon to reclaim the profits of his estate in Brazil, which has granted him much wealth. In conclusion, he transports his wealth overland to England to avoid traveling by sea. Friday accompanies him and, en route, they endure one last adventure together as they fight off famished wolves while crossing the Pyrenees.
summary from wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robinson_Crusoe
The Orinoco is one of the longest rivers in South America at 2,140 km (1,330 mi). Its drainage basin, sometimes called the Orinoquia, covers 880,000 square kilometres (340,000 sq mi), with 76.3% of it in Venezuela and the remainder in Colombia. The Orinoco and its tributaries are the major transportation system for eastern and interior Venezuela and the llanos of Colombia.
In a painting by Carl Offterdinger (1829-89) the vegetation appears tropical, and this is supported by the assertion in the book that the island lies "near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque". The Orinoco delta lies just south of Trinidad, close to the Equator.
The Salé Rovers, also Sale Rovers or Salle Rovers, were a dreaded band of Barbary corsairs who eventually formed the Republic of Salé on the Moroccan coast.
Location in Morocco Coordinates: 34°02′N 6°48′W
(see Book Drum add as needed and add to this list)
abroad-- in a foreign country or unfamiliar area
adze-- tool for cutting or slicing the surface of wood, similar to an axe
affection(s)-- a state of mind, usually highly emotional ague a bad fever with malarial-like symptoms
Algerines-- pirate ships which looted in the Mediterranean Sea
antient-- flag, banner
Barbary-- the coast of North Africa, roughly what is now known as Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia
Barco-Longo a long-boat, the largest launch boat carried by a ship
bays rough-- woollen material
Bills of Exchange-- cheques
bisket-- a hard and long-lasting bread carried on ships, it was a large feature of the diet of sailors undertaking long journeys
boltsprit-- a beam projecting forward from the front of the ship which rigging is attached to brace pair
calenture-- a tropical disease usually found amongst sailors
Caribs -- Amerindians of the Caribbean islands, commonly associated with cannibalism during Defoe's time.
chop'd upon-- happened upon
cordial waters-- liqueurs which were believed to have tonic or medicinal uses
crow-- a metal bar used as a lever, ‘crowbar’
distemper-- sickness, fever
Doubloons-- Spanish gold coins
dram-- a small measure of drink, usually alcohol used as a restorative
drills-- small streams
ducats-- gold coins
engagement-- promise, obligation
essays-- attempts fathom depth of water corresponding to 6 feet/2 metres
flag(g)s-- rushes, thin flat leaves
fluxes-- diarrhoea, dysentery
founder-- sink ie. a ship
fowling-piece-- small gun used to shoot birds
Fustic --(Chlorophora tinctoria) tropical hardwood tree found in South America, produces a yellow dye.
gridiron-- iron cooking frame to stand over a fire
gross-- twelve dozen
guinea trader-- slave trader
hogshead-- large barrel used for storing liquid
league-- distance corresponding to three miles
magazine-- store of ammunition
miscarry'd-- shipwrecked, struck by a disaster
moiety-- half Moors Muslims who lived in North Africa (Barbary – see above)
moydors-- Portugese gold coins
oakum-- strands of rope mixed with tar to make a waterproof material
osler-- form of willow, a deciduous plant which is strong yet supple and often used in basket weaving
peck-- measure of dry goods equivalent to 2 gallons
periagua-- large South American canoe
Quicksand -- mixture of sand and water which is referred to as ‘quick’ in the sense of living, easy trap
How to get out of quicksand
rack-- a kind of native liqueur
runlets-- casks for holding alcohol
ryals-- Spanish silver coins
shift-- make-do, manage
shoor off-- repel
slugs-- roughly made bullets
small shot-- small bullets
Solstices -- occur twice a year, in June and December, when the sun reaches its northernmost or southernmost point relative to the Earth’s axis. Traditionally, they were important religious festivals, and druid ceremonies still take place at sites like Stonehenge.
The terms Summer and Winter Solstice can be misleading as the seasons depend on the hemisphere. Sailors prefer the terms Northern and Southern Solstice, as these indicate the position of the Sun. (Southern Solstice-- December).
Spanish Inquisition--(1230s-1834) Victims often tortured and murdered to suppress heresy against Catholic Church.
strait-- narrow channel, entrance to a larger body of water
swan-shot-- large bullets
ticklish-- insecure, unsteady
tinder-box-- waterproof box holding materials for lighting a fire eg. flints
vapours-- hysteria, depression, nervous problems
Vernal Equinox-- Spring Equinox (when day and night are the same length)
victuals-- vittle food supplies
viz.-- that is to say – videlicet
waft-- signal, wave
Robinson Crusoe at Book Drum
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