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Robinson Crusoe: The Classic Castaway

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Tuesday, May 16, 2023 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0365
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Materials for this program

Robinson Crusoe, lithograph, 1877

Robinson Crusoe (1719) is one of the first English novels and still one of the best. Everyone knows the basic story: Marooned alone on an island, Crusoe must create a new life of security and self-sufficiency from local resources and the items he’s able to rescue from the ship.

Daniel Defoe's fascinating account of the survival—and eventual triumph--of Robinson Crusoe represents how a lone human builds a new life in the wilderness: finding a secure home, obtaining and storing food, making clothing, keeping fire alive, marking time, and establishing a spiritual life.

Which is the climax of the novel: when Crusoe discovers the footprint of another man on the island or when he re-invents agriculture there with a few discarded seeds he finds in a small bag? Defoe's prose style is entirely accessible to 21st-century readers. Join public humanities scholar Clay Jenkinson for an evening with this splendid and influential work of English fiction.

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