Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Did You Know? Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe was published in April of 1719, and it's the oldest work that we've covered here, so far. SO, what kind of facts could we dig up from a book that's so old? Let's find out.

Did You Know?
  • The book is thought to be taken in part from the true story of Alexander Selkirk? Selkirk was a castaway who spent four years on a deserted island in the Pacific, close to Chile.
  • The topography of the island Crusoe was stranded on was most likely based on Tobago, which is a little north of Venezuela?
  • Robinson Crusoe is believed to be the first major literary work not based on myth, legend, history, or previous literature?
  • The book's actual title is The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un‐inhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself. With An Account how he was at last as strangely deliver'd by Pirates? No wonder it's just called Robinson Crusoe these days!
  • The original was followed by a sequel, The Farther Life of Robinson Crusoe, and a collection of moral essays?
  • Daniel Defoe's origninal name was Daniel Foe?
  • Defoe wrote over 500 books, pamphlets, and journals on topics including crime, religion, politics, and the supernatural?
  • Daniel Defoe used 198 pen names over the course of his life?
  • He was arrested several times throughout his life, both as a political dissident, and as a debtor?
  • Defoe once acted as a secret agent for King William III?

Here's a Mr. Magoo cartoon that gives you the real scoop on Robinson Crusoe.


  1. Mr. Magoo! Love it! I didn't know even one fact that you mentioned! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Mr. Magoo was a favorite when I was a kid. I remember thinking--he sounds a lot like Mr. Howell from Gilligan;s Island! :)