Front cover of an 1889 American edition of Robinson Crusoe.

Robinson Crusoe[1] is a work of fiction by the British author Daniel Defoe. It was first published on April 25, 1719. It is generally considered to have been the first novel to have been written in the English language.[2] Defoe's name did not appear on the title page of the book's first edition, which was presented as being an autobiography of Crusoe. Modern editions of the novel are usually divided into twenty chapters. There were, however, no divisions in the text when it was first published.

The novel's title character, protagonist and narrator is an Englishman who, while traveling by ship from Brazil to Africa, is caught up in a terrible storm. All the other people who had been on board the ship drown. Crusoe finds himself a castaway on an uninhabited island in the Caribbean. Crusoe lives on the island for twenty-eight years. He spends most of that time living entirely on his own. Fortunately, Crusoe is able to salvage many useful items from his wrecked ship. With difficulty, he is also able to make several other items that are useful to him. Crusoe is able to grow crops and eventually manages to domesticate some of the wild goats that live on the island, thus supplying himself with a constant source of nourishment. Crusoe also finds comfort in religion. He comes to consider that, on the whole, God's providence has been very favorable to him and he even sincerely thanks God for sending him somewhere where he is away from the temptations of a wicked world. Crusoe's peace of mind is shattered when he discovers that some other unknown person, and possible danger to him, has also been on in the island. He is later horrified to discover that cannibals from the mainland sometimes come over to the island to feast on their victims. In the twenty-third year of his time on the island, Crusoe rescues a prisoner of the cannibals. Out of gratitude towards Crusoe for having saved his life, the man willing becomes his servant. Crusoe names him Friday. Crusoe teaches Friday English and "everything that was proper to make him useful, handy and helpful." He also instructs him in the Christian religion and converts him to it. Friday later helps Crusoe to ensure that the cannibals never come back to the island again. Eventually, an English ship comes to the island. The ship has been taken over by mutineers but Crusoe and Friday help the ship's captain to recover it. Crusoe returns to England on the ship and Friday goes with him.

It is widely believed that Robinson Crusoe was inspired by the true story of Alexander Selkirk (1676 - 1721), a Scottish sailor who was marooned on an uninhabited island in the Pacific[3] in September 1704 and who lived there alone until February 1709. Another likely influence is the philosophical novel Hayy ibn Yaqdhan, which takes place on a desert island, written by Ibn Tufail, an Arab writer, philosopher, theologian and scientist who lived in Spain in the 12th century. A Latin translation of Hayy ibn Tufail was published in England in 1670 and an English translation was published in 1674.

Many modern readers are likely to feel uncomfortable with the manner in which race, culture and ethnicity are dealt with in Robinson Crusoe. Crusoe becomes shipwrecked while traveling to Africa to get slaves. Crusoe appears to consider himself, as a white European Christian man, to be superior to the darker skinned peoples of the world who follow other religions. He is also very wary of Catholics. The indigenous people of the Americas are routinely referred to in Robinson Crusoe as "savages". The kindly Friday is referred to as a "savage" even after Crusoe has "civilized" him. A common criticism of Robinson Crusoe is that Crusoe sets himself up as Friday's teacher and does not consider that he has anything to learn from Friday, a native of the part of the world in which he finds himself. This is not entirely true. Crusoe asks Friday many questions about his homeland. It is also explicitly stated that Friday knows better than Crusoe which tree is the best for making into a large canoe. Although the relationship between Crusoe and Friday is not that of master and slave, it is that of master and servant and certainly not one of equals. Although Friday initially learns English quickly, his English never advances beyond being broken.

Defoe wrote two sequels to Robinson Crusoe. The first one, The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (now better known as The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe) was first published later in 1719. The second one, Serious Reflections of Robinson Crusoe was published the following year.

There have been numerous adaptations of Robinson Crusoe to other media. The novel and its characters are frequently referenced in popular culture. The terms "Robinson Crusoe" (meaning "something isolated and independent"), "Man Friday"[4] and its derivative "Girl Friday" (both meaning "a trusted assistant") have entered in the English language.


Przypadki Robinsona Kruzoe page 0019

The young Robinson Crusoe and his father. Illustration from an 1868 Polish edition of Robinson Crusoe.

Robinson Crusoe is born in York. he is the son of an English mother and a German merchant from Bremen. His real name is Robinson Kreutznaer. Everybody has always called him Crusoe, however, and that is what he calls himself.

From a young age, Robinson Crusoe wants to go away to sea. When he is 18 years old, he tells his father of his wishes. Robinson Crusoe's father cannot understand why his son wants to leave the comfortable middle-class life that he has in England. He refuses to give approval to the young man's plans and warns his son that going away to sea will lead to nothing but misery. Robinson Crusoe's mother also makes it plain that she does not approve of his plan to go to sea.

Almost a year later, Robinson Crusoe meets a friend of his while he is visiting Hull. Crusoe's friend is traveling to London by ship and invites Crusoe to come with him. Crusoe gladly accepts the invitation. On the first night of the voyage, there is a storm. Crusoe comes to regret his decision and vows to return home. Crusoe forgets his fears and the vows he made when the sea becomes calm again. He comes to enjoy life on board the ship. A few days later, there is a terrible storm. Crusoe and the rest of the people on board are rescued before the ship sinks and are brought ashore at Yarmouth. They are given lodgings in the town and enough money to either continue the journey to London or return to Hull. The ship's captain (the father of Crusoe's friend) tells Crusoe that he should go home and take what has happened to him as a sign that he is not meant to be a sailor. Crusoe, however, chooses to travel on to London by road. When he gets to the city, he looks for another ship on which he can sail.

In London, Crusoe befriends the captain of a ship bound for Africa. The captain allows Crusoe to travel on the ship as a passenger. In Africa, Crusoe trades 40 pounds worth of trinkets for some gold dust. He is able to sell the gold dust for 300 pounds when he returns to London. Crusoe decides to travel to Africa again. This time, the ship that Crusoe is sailing on is attacked by Turkish pirates. All the men on board the ship are captured and taken as slaves. Crusoe becomes the personal slave of the Turkish pirate captain. He is taken to the pirate captain's home on the coast of Morocco and remains there for two years. When the pirate captain is at home, he enjoys fishing. He is impressed by Crusoe's skills as a fisherman.

Defoe - Robinson Crusoé, Borel et Varenne, 1836, illust page 048

The Turkish pirate captain takes Crusoe as a slave. 1836 illustration by the French artist Achille Devéria.

The pirate captain is expecting some friends to join him for a fishing and shooting party. For that reason, food, drink, guns and grenades are put in his large fishing boat. The pirate captain tells Crusoe and two of his other slaves, a Moroccan man named Ismail and a Moroccan boy named Xury, that his friends will not be able to join him until the evening. He tells his slaves to go out on their own and catch some fish that he can serve his friends for dinner. Saying that it would not be right to eat the food intended for the pirate captain and his friends, Crusoe gets the pirate captain to give them some extra food and water. When they are out at sea, Crusoe throws Ismail overboard. He tells Ismail, who is an excellent swimmer, to swim back to shore. Xury agrees to obey Crusoe. Wanting at first simply to get away from Morocco and having no clear idea of where he is going, Crusoe sails down the coast of Africa. He then tries to reach the Cape Verde islands, where all Spanish and Portuguese ships stop when crossing the Atlantic.

Crusoe's boat is eventually spotted by a Portuguese ship that is bound for Brazil. The ship's captain takes Xury as a slave. At Crusoe's insistence, he agrees to set the boy free after ten years if he converts to Christianity. Crusoe sails on the ship to Brazil. There, he stays with a friend of the ship's captain who owns a sugar plantation. Crusoe learns about planting sugar from him. He decides that he wants to have a plantation himself. Crusoe obtains permission to stay in Brazil, buys some land and establishes a sugar plantation. He makes good money from his plantation and stays in Brazil for four years. Often, however, he feels unhappy because he is living the kind of comfortable middle-class life that his father wanted him to live and that he wanted to get away from by leaving England. He often thinks about going to sea again.

Crusoe befriends other plantation owners. He tells them about his journey to Africa and about how trinkets can be traded there for gold, ivory and slaves. As a result of Crusoe's stories, some of the plantation owners decide to sail to Africa to get some slaves. They ask Crusoe if he wants to go with them. Crusoe happily accepts the invitation.

Melies Robinson Crusoe

Screenshot from the 1902 French silent film Robinson Crusoe directed by Georges Méliès.

The ship sails north. It soon hits very bad weather and is badly damaged. Realizing that it is impossible to reach Africa, Crusoe and the ship's captain decide to head for Barbados. The ship runs aground near an uninhabited island in the Caribbean. strong wind and waves still threaten to destroy the ship. All of the men on board get into a lifeboat. The boat is swallowed by an enormous wave. Everybody on board is drowned, apart from Crusoe. Being a very strong swimmer, Crusoe is able to swim to shore, far away from where the ship has run aground. Crusoe is able to find some fresh water to drink but can see nothing to eat. He has nothing with him apart from a knife, a pipe and a little tobacco. To protect himself from any wild animals that might be on the island, Crusoe climbs a tree and spends the night there.

The following morning, Crusoe sees that the ship is still intact. He sadly realizes that if he and the others had stayed on board, they would all still be alive and he would not be alone. He is also aware, however, that the ship will be destroyed by the first storm that comes to the island. He decides to salvage as much useful material from the ship as he can while it is still there. He swims out to the ship. He takes food and liquor, guns and gunpowder from the ship. He uses some wood from the ship to make a raft. He steers the raft to a cave that he thinks is a suitable place to set up camp.

Crusoe goes up a small mountain to better observe the island on which he finds himself. He sees that there is nothing near the island apart from rocks and two smaller islands quite far out to sea. He also sees that the island is barren and uninhabited. Crusoe sees no large wild animals, although he sees a great many birds. While going down the mountain, Crusoe shoots a large bird. A great many animals and birds take flight at the sound of the gunshot, probably the first that has ever been fired on the island. Crusoe finds that the bird's flesh is inedible. He takes comfort, however, in the fact that he saw two animals that looked like hares run away when he fired his gun.

Over the following twelve days, Crusoe goes back to the ship each day. He takes sails, which he uses to make a tent. He also takes more food and liquor, tools, a hammock, clothes, pens, ink and paper, three Bibles in English (that Crusoe had sent to him from England to Brazil), other books in Portuguese and even some money. He takes the two female cats that were on board the ship. One of those cats later mates with some wild cat on the island and has kittens, eventually resulting in the island having a large population of feral cats. The dog that was on board the ship leaves of its own accord and comes to join Crusoe. On the thirteenth day, a storm comes and sinks the ship.

A. F. Lydon Robinson Crusoe Plate 03 (1865)

Crusoe sets up a sign which reads, "I came here on the 30th September 1659." Illustration by Alexander Frank Lydon from an 1865 British edition of Robinson Crusoe.

Crusoe begins constructing a more permanent home for himself. he finds a small cave in some soft rock. He makes the cave larger and uses it as a storeroom. He sets up a tent in front of the cave and places wooden stakes around the tent. In time, he places turf on the wooden stakes to make a wall. There is no door in the wall. Instead, Crusoe makes a ladder which he uses to get over it.

Each day, Crusoe goes hunting. He keeps the skins of all the animals that he kills and dries them in the sun. Crusoe finds that there are goats on the island. They are not easy to hunt, however, and Crusoe's first two attempts to domesticate one of them fail.

Not wanting to lose track of time, Crusoe makes a wooden sign which reads, "I came here on the 30th September 1659." He puts the sign on a pole and cuts a notch in the pole each day. He cuts a longer notch on Sundays and on the first day of each month.

Although he has never done any carpentry before, Crusoe finds that he is able to make a table and chair for himself.

For as long as his ink lasts, Crusoe keeps a journal.

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Crusoe finds barley growing. 1842 illustration by the French artist Louis-Henri Brévière.

One day, Crusoe sees barley, which looks exactly like English barley, and rice growing. He thinks at first that it is a miracle. He then remembers that he took a bag from the ship that had contained chicken feed. Most of the feed had been eaten by rats. Crusoe emptied the sack of the few seeds that remained so that he could use it for some other purpose. Those seeds had started to grow into barley and rice plants. When the barley and rice are ready to plant, Crusoe plants their seeds again. it is only after four years that he is able to grow enough barley and rice to use for food.

An earthquake hits the island, followed immediately afterwards by a hurricane. As a result of those natural disasters, the wrecked ship moves. It is now higher out of the water than it used to be and it is now possible for Crusoe to walk to it at low tide. The ship also has been broken open more than it was before. As a result, several items from the ship get washed up on shore. Crusoe tries to go inside the ship. He finds, however, that it is almost entirely filled with water and sand. Nevertheless, Crusoe decides to strip the ship of everything that he can take from it. He goes to the wreck nearly every day for a month. He takes a large quantity of wood from it and also some lead.

Defoe - Robinson Crusoé, Borel et Varenne, 1836, illust page 152-1

Crusoe has a bad deam in which a Heavenly messenger threatens him with a spear. 1836 illustration by the French artists Achille Déveria and Henry Isidore Chevauchet.

Robinson Crusoe becomes sick with a fever. He has a bad dream in which a man with a spear descends from Heaven. The man says to Crusoe, "Seeing all these things have not brought thee to repentance, now thou shalt die." After that, Crusoe's thoughts begin to turn to God. He feels that he might be being punished for his past sins. He calls on God for help. For the first time in his life, he asks God to bless his food. Crusoe remembers that the natives of Brazil use tobacco to cure themselves of all sicknesses. He goes to a chest where he keeps some tobacco. He chews some tobacco, burns some tobacco and inhales the smoke and mixes some tobacco with rum and water and drinks it. He also tries to read the Bible. He reads the words, "Call on Me in the day of trouble and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me."[5] Before he goes to bed, Crusoe sincerely prays for the first time in his life.

Crusoe wakes up feeling much better at about three o'clock in the afternoon the next day, or possibly the day after because he finds out later that he has somehow lost a day. Crusoe continues to use tobacco as medicine and decides to read the Bible everyday. He realizes that, although he has not been delivered from captivity on his island prison, he has been delivered from his sickness and delivered from sin. He sincerely gives thanks to God.

Robinson Crusoe finds that there are only two seasons on his island, a rainy season and a dry season. The rainy season lasts from mid-February until mid-April and from mid-August until mid-October. The dry season lasts from mid-April until mid-August and from mid-October until mid-February.


1874 depiction of Robinson Crusoe.

After he has been on the island for ten months, Crusoe becomes resigned to the fact that he will probably have to stay there for the rest of his life. He decides to explore the island. Further inland, he finds tobacco plants, melons, grapes (which he dries to make raisins), cocoa, orange, lemon and lime trees. Crusoe thinks about moving to that part of the island permanently. He decides that he is better off staying by the coast, where there is still the faint hope that he might be rescued or that another castaway might arrive to keep him company. He decides, however, to set up a second home further inland. He builds a wooden hut and puts up a hedge and wooden stakes around it. He stays there for most of the dry season.

In the rainy season, Crusoe extends his cave further until he eventually comes out of the other side of the hill. He is a little worried about leaving the new entrance to the cave that he has made open, even though he has seen no animals larger than goats on the island.

When Crusoe returns to his second home in November, he finds that branches have grown on the wooden stakes that he planted around it and that they are now trees. He finds that the twigs from those trees are good for making baskets, which he comes to use instead of sacks.

When he has been on the island for two years, Crusoe decides to explore it further. Taking his dog with him, he walks to the coast on the other side of the island. He can see another coastline across the sea. He thinks that it is probably part of the mainland of the American continent and that it is probably a Spanish possession inhabited by cannibals. Crusoe realizes that, in many ways, the side of the island to which he has traveled is better than the side of the island on which he lives. There are many animals that he can eat there, including birds, hares, turtles and more goats. Nevertheless, Crusoe has come to consider the part of the island on which he has settled his home and he longs to go back there.

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Crusoe and the first goat that he manages to tame. 1842 illustration by the French artist Louis-Henri Brévière.

While he is on the other side of the island, Crusoe captures a parrot, which he names Poll and eventually teaches to talk. While Crusoe is traveling back to his home, his dog attacks a young female goat. Crusoe stops the dog from killing the goat and brings it home. It soon becomes very tame. Unfortunately, Crusoe does not manage to capture a male goat with which that goat could breed. He also finds that he does not have the heart to kill his first tame goat and it eventually dies of old age.

After much trial and effort and many failed attempts. Crusoe manages to make two large clay pots in which he can store his barley and rice. After even more difficulty, Crusoe eventually learns how to make clay pots in which he can cook foods such as soup. Crusoe also makes a wooden pestle and mortar and uses calico sailors' neckcloths, which he salvaged form the ship, to make sieves. He is then able to make his barley into flour and bake unleavened bread. He becomes quite skillful at making cakes and puddings from his rice.

Even though he thinks that land might be inhabited by cannibals, Crusoe cannot help thinking about the other coastline that he saw. He decides to sail there. Crusoe finds the lifeboat in which he arrived on the island. He tries repeatedly to get it out of the sand but finds that he is unable to move the heavy boat. He then decides to make a canoe. He spends many days cutting down a huge cedar tree and then several more days cutting a canoe from the tree. he then finds that he is unable to get the heavy canoe from the inland forest to the sea. Crusoe sadly realizes that he foolishly began work on something without having determined whether or not he could complete the task and without having planned it properly. He does not make the same mistake again.

Valentine, Laura - Aunt Louisa's Oft Told Tales - 0008

Crusoe in his animal skin clothes makes an umbrella. illustration by Laura Valentine from the late 19th century American children's book Aunt Louisa's Oft Told Tales.

After he has been on the island for four years, Crusoe's clothes begin to rot. To protect his head from the sun, Crusoe makes a goatskin cap. He goes on to make a complete outfit for himself out of the many animal skins that he has kept. With a lot of difficulty, Crusoe manages to make an umbrella for himself, which protects him from both the sun and the rain.

When he has been on the island for nearly six years, Crusoe makes another canoe, a smaller one than the one he made before. He is able to get that canoe into the sea. He does not intend to reach the other coastline that he saw before because he knows his small canoe is not fit for that purpose. He wishes merely to get to know his island better by sailing around it. Crusoe gets caught in a strong current and narrowly avoids being carried far out to sea. He is greatly relieved when he is able to make his way back to the island. He finds that he is near to his second home. He leaves his canoe in a cove, in case he has need of it in the future. He does not, however, want to go to sea again.

By the time he has been on the island for eleven years, Crusoe is running out of gunpowder. He is worried that he will no longer have any meat when he can no longer hunt with his rifles. He decides once again to try to tame goats. After several failed attempts, he eventually manages to capture three kids, a male and two females, in a pitfall trap. Crusoe decides that he needs to make an enclosure for his goats so that they will not run off with the wild goats. He places a hedge around a meadow. Until he has finished putting up the hedge, he keeps the three kids tied up and feeds them out of his hand. Crusoe captures more wild goats and breeds the ones that he has. After three years, he has forty-three goats. His goats provide him with meat and also with milk. In time, he learns to make the milk into butter and cheese.

Valentine, Laura - Aunt Louisa's Oft Told Tales - 0010

Illustration by Laura Valentine from the late 19th century children's book Aunt Louisa's Oft Told Tales which depicts Crusoe finding human footprints. In the original novel, Crusoe becomes startled when he sees a single footprint.

By the fifteenth year of his time on the island, Crusoe has begun going for short excursions in his canoe. He is careful, however, never to go very far from shore. While going to get his boat one day, Crusoe sees a single human footprint in the sand. He does not see any other footprints or any other signs of human presence. He becomes extremely frightened and fancies that every bush, tree and stump that he sees on the way home is a man. He does not sleep at all that night. Crusoe thinks that the footprint may have been left by the Devil but thinks it more likely that it was left by someone from the mainland. He becomes frightened that cannibals from the mainland might have seen his boat. They might then come to eat him or, at least, take all his barley rice and goats. Crusoe continues to worry about the possible presence of hostile natives on his island for a long time. He does not leave his cave for three days. He then remembers the words from the Bible, "Call on Me in the day of trouble and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me." He prays and then opens the Bible again. He reads, "Wait on the Lord, and be of good cheer, and He shall strengthen thy heart, wait I say, on the Lord."[6] He then becomes braver.

It occurs to Crusoe that the footprint he saw might be his own. He goes to the footprint again to examine it. He sees that it is much longer than his own foot. Crusoe realizes that people from the mainland sometimes come to his island. They probably do not stay long because they believe the island to be uninhabited. Crusoe regrets having left the second entrance to his cave open. He builds a thick wall around it, like the one at the other entrance to his cave. He places seven muskets in holes in the wall so that he can fire at anyone who tries to attack him. He places wooden stakes in front of the wall. Those stakes grow into trees. After six years, those trees completely hide the entrance to his home.

Out of fear that he might lose them to hostile natives or as a result of some other disaster, Crusoe decides to divide his herd of goats into two. That way, he would be more likely to keep at least half of them and would not have to begin the process of domesticating goats all over again. While looking for a suitable place to keep half of his goats, Crusoe thinks that he can see a ship on the sea in the distance. He is not certain, however. For that reason, he decides that he will never go out in the future without taking one of the telescopes that he salvaged from the ship with him.

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Crusoe finds the remains of a cannibal feasts. Illustration from an 1868 Polish edition of Robinson Crusoe.

While still looking for a suitable place to keep some of his goats, Crusoe comes to a beach that he has never visited before. He finds the beach littered with human skulls and other human bones. He also sees the remains of a fire. The sight makes Crusoe vomit. He then hurries home as fast as he can. Afterwards, Crusoe never goes out without taking three pistols and a cutlass with him in addition to the rifle that he always carries for hunting.

Crusoe begins to think about frightening away the cannibals who have come to his island. He decides that he could ambush them and could then kill a great many of them with his guns and his swords. He lies in wait for the cannibals many times but does not see any. He later decides that it was a bad idea. If one of the cannibals escaped with his life, he would then tell the other cannibals on the mainland about Crusoe. Thousands of cannibals would then come to the island with the intention of killing Crusoe. It also occurs to Crusoe that the cannibals have done no harm to him and that, in their society, killing and eating people is not considered a crime or a sin. He decides to leave it to God to punish them.

Aware that cannibals have come to his island, Crusoe becomes much more cautious. He moves his canoe to a part of the island where he thinks that the cannibals do not come because of the strong ocean currents. He tries not to do any activities which would give his presence away due to the noise that they make. He does not fire his gun for two years. He does all activities which involve fire at his inland second home and spends more and more time there as a result.

While cutting down some wood near his second home, Crusoe notices the opening to a cave. He goes back the next day, taking some candles that he has made from goat tallow with him, to explore the cave further. He finds the cave to be dry and free of dangerous animals. Something in the rock, possibly gold or diamonds, reflects the light from his candle. Crusoe decides to move some of his guns, his gunpowder and lead to make bullets to the cave for safekeeping.

By the time that he has been on the island for twenty-three years, Crusoe is quite contented with his life there. His dog has now died. Poll the parrot is still living and speaks very clearly. Crusoe also has two other parrots, which do not speak as well as Poll does. In his house, he also keeps some sea birds that he tamed, two cats (descendants of the cat from the ship and the wild cat with which it mated) and a few goats which eat out of his hand.

Robinson von Offterdinger und Zweigle Titel

Robinson Crusoe watches the cannibals from a distance. Late 19th century illustration by the German artists Carl Offterdinger and Walter Zweigle.

Very early one morning in December, Crusoe is harvesting his crops. He sees a fire on a beach and realizes that, for the first time, cannibals have come to the part of the island on which he lives. Crusoe hurries home. Eventually, however, his curiosity overcomes him. From a hill, Crusoe watches the cannibals through a telescope until they leave. After they have left, Crusoe goes down to the beach and again sees the human remains that the cannibals have left behind. Again, Crusoe becomes overcome with anger towards the cannibals and plans to kill as many as he can when they return to his island.

One stormy night in May in the twenty-fourth year of Crusoe's time on the island, he hears a cannon being fired out at sea. He concludes that there is a ship in distress. Crusoe realizes that he cannot help the people on the ship but thinks that they might be able to help him. He gathers together as much dry wood as he can and starts a fire on top of a hill. Nobody comes to his aid, however.

The following morning, Crusoe sees a wrecked ship caught between two rocks. No survivors can be seen. A few days later, the corpse of a young sailor gets washed up on shore. Crusoe wants to go out to the ship. He does not, however, want to get caught up again in a strong current that would carry him away from the island. After carefully observing the tides and currents, he works out when is a safe time to go to the wrecked ship in his canoe. The ship appears to be Spanish. Crusoe finds two drowned sailors on board it but no survivors.

Crusoe is not able to take very much from the ship because he cannot carry very much in his canoe and the ship is not safe to explore. He takes some items, however, including a small cask of rum, a powder horn, two kettles, a metal cooking pot and two trunks. When he gets the trunks on shore, Crusoe finds that they contain some more gunpowder, bottles full of cordial, candy, handkerchiefs, clothes, bars of gold and money. Although he knows that money is currently useless to him, Crusoe keeps it anyway.

In the twenty-fourth year of his time on the island, Crusoe often thinks about how he could escape from it. He reasons that since cannibals are able to sail to his island, he should be able to sail towards the mainland from which they come. He believes that he could then continue sailing down the coast until he reaches a European colony or is picked up by a European ship.

After thinking about this plans for leaving the island one night, Crusoe falls asleep and has a dream in which a prisoner of the cannibals runs away from them, goes to Crusoe for protection and becomes his servant. In his dream, Crusoe thinks that he will now be able to sail to the mainland because his native servant will be able to tell him where is and where is not a safe place to land. When he wakes up, Crusoe determines to get himself a native servant by rescuing one of the prisoners of the cannibals. He justifies to himself the necessity of killing several of the cannibals that rescuing one of their prisoners would entail by thinking that he would be acting in a kind of self-defense. If he does not attack them, he will be condemned to remain a prisoner on the island. Crusoe often goes to the parts o the island where the cannibals have come in the past and lies in wait for them. He does not see any, however, for nearly two years and eventually forgets about his plan.

Robinson von Offterdinger und Zweigle Kap 10

Robinson Crusoe rescues Friday. Late 19th century illustration by the German artists Carl Offterdinger and Walter Zweigle.

One day, Crusoe sees five canoes approach his side of the island. Crusoe knows that there must be at least twenty men in the canoes and that he cannot attack all of them. Nevertheless, he watches them from the top of a hill and prepares to attack if necessary. The cannibals have four prisoners of war from another tribe with them. While they are killing and cutting up one of the prisoners, another prisoner sees his chance to escape. The prisoner runs away extremely quickly. To Crusoe's surprise, only three of the cannibals go off in pursuit of him. When the prisoner gets to a creek and swims, one of the cannibals, who cannot swim, stops pursuing him. The other two continue.

Crusoe goes down the hill and gets between the prisoner and his pursuers. Crusoe hits one of the pursuers on the head with the butt of his rifle and knocks the man unconscious. Noticing that the other pursuer has a bow and arrow and is preparing to fire the arrow at him, Crusoe is obliged to shoot him dead first. The prisoner kneels down before Crusoe and puts Crusoe's foot on his head as a sign that, as a reward for saving his life, he will be Crusoe's servant forever. When the first pursuer begins to regain consciousness, the prisoner takes Crusoe's sword and cuts off the cannibal's head. He insists on quickly burying the two men in the sand before following Crusoe back to the cave near his second home. Crusoe gives him food and water and shows him where he can sleep.

Robinson Crusoe names the man he has rescued Friday because he saved his life on a Friday. Crusoe teaches Friday to recognize his new name and to call him "master". He also quickly gets Friday to understand the meaning of "yes' and "no". Crusoe leads Friday back to his original home by the coast. When they pass the point where the two men are buried, Friday mimes that they should dig them up and eat them. Crusoe lets Friday know that he finds that idea disgusting and completely unacceptable.

Crusoe and Friday go up to the top of the hill to see if the cannibals are still on the island. They see that the cannibals have left without looking for the two men who were left behind. Crusoe and Friday go down to the beach. Crusoe is disgusted by the sight of the remains of the cannibal feast. Friday is clearly tempted to eat some of the human flesh. Crusoe makes him understand that he will kill him if he does so. Crusoe gets Friday to gather up all the human remains and burn them to ashes.

Friday is given some clothes by Crusoe. Robinson Crusoe begins to teach Friday everything that he needs to know to become a good servant. Above all, Crusoe is keen to teach Friday to speak and understand English. He finds Friday to be an eager and excellent student.

When Friday is able to speak English sufficiently well, Crusoe asks him a lot of questions about his own country. Thanks to what Friday tells him, Crusoe realizes that he is near to the island of Trinidad and that the tides that affect his island are dues to its proximity to the mouth of the Orinoco River. Friday tells Crusoe that there is a place beyond his country where bearded white men live that have killed many people. Crusoe understands that those men must be Spanish. Crusoe asks Friday if it would be possible for him to go where those other white men live. Friday says that it would be possible but that Crusoe would need a boat as large as two canoes to travel there.

Robinson Crusoe and his man Friday - Currier & Ives c.1874

1874 depiction of Robinson Crusoe and Friday.

Robinson Crusoe begins teaching Friday about Christianity. Friday asks many difficult questions about the faith which force Crusoe to think about his own religion more deeply than he had ever done before. Crusoe converts Friday and says of him that he was, "such a Christian as I have known few equal to him in my life."

Crusoe teaches Friday about life in England and other European countries. He also tells him about how he came to the island. Crusoe shows Friday the place where his wrecked ship once stood and shows him the lifeboat, which he was never able to get out of the sand and is now much damaged. Friday says that he has seen a boat like that before. He says that, some years earlier, seventeen bearded white men came to his land in such a boat and that his people saved them from drowning. Friday's people did not eat the bearded white men because they only eat their enemies that they defeat in war. Friday assures Crusoe that the seventeen white men are still living in his country.

One clear day, when Crusoe and Friday are on the top of a hill, Friday becomes greatly excited when he can see the coastline of his homeland across the sea. This worries Crusoe because he thinks that Friday is keen to go home and that, if he did so, he would abandon his Christian faith, would become a cannibal again and would happily eat Crusoe himself if he had the chance. After worrying about this for several days, Crusoe asks Friday if he would do those things if he went home. Friday says that he would not. He says that he would tell his people not to eat human flesh and to pray to God. Crusoe says that Friday's people would kill him if he said that. Friday says that they would not. He says that his people love to learn and that they have learned a lot from the seventeen white men. Crusoe asks if Friday's people would eat him. Friday says that they would not because he would tell them how Crusoe saved his life, which would make them love him.

Crusoe thinks that if he could join up with the seventeen white men who live in Friday's country, he might have a better chance of getting back to Europe. He shows Friday his canoe and asks if they could reach Friday's homeland in it. Friday lets him know that such a canoe is too small for such a journey. Crusoe then shows Friday the larger boat he made that he was never able to get into the water. Crusoe has not taken care of the boat for the last twenty-three years. It has cracked in the sun and gone rotten. Friday says that they could reach his country in a large boat like that in which they could carry a large amount of food.

Friday and Crusoe build another boat, as large as the one that Crusoe built before. This time, Crusoe realizes that they need to use a tree that is not very far from the water so that it will not be so difficult to move it there after it is finished. Friday selects the best tree to make the boat from, a kind of tree with which Crusoe is not familiar. After the boat is finished, Crusoe and Friday move it on wooden rollers to the water. Crusoe plans to leave when the dry season returns in November. He begins to gather provisions for their journey.

One day, Crusoe sends Friday to the beach to get a turtle which will provide them with meat and eggs for their journey. Friday returns very quickly. He says that three canoes are coming. He is very frightened because he thinks that the cannibals in the canoes are coming to get him as punishment for his having escaped from them before. Crusoe points out that his life is in danger too. He says that he will protect Friday if Friday agrees to protect him. Friday promises to do that. From a hill, Crusoe sees that twenty-one cannibals have come to the island. They are nearer to his home than any cannibals have ever come before and are very near to a wood that comes down almost to the sea. At first, Crusoe is so angry that cannibals plan to eat human flesh near to his home that he is determined to kill them all. He then calms down and again reasons that it is God's place, not his, to judge those people. He decides to just observe the cannibals and only take action against them if it is necessary.

Przypadki Robinsona Kruzoe page 0299

Crusoe rescues the Spanish prisoner while Friday continues attacking the cannibals. Illustration from an 1868 Polish edition of Robinson Crusoe.

Crusoe and Friday, both heavily armed, go to the edge of the wood. Crusoe asks Friday to tell him what he can see. Friday says that the cannibals are eating one of their prisoners and are preparing to kill a second one. The second prisoner is a white bearded man. he is one of the seventeen shipwrecked sailors who live in Friday's country. When Crusoe sees that the cannibals have a European prisoner, he is very angry. He begins shooting at the cannibals and orders Friday to do the same. Crusoe and Friday kill and wound several cannibals from their hiding place in the wood. They then emerge. Friday continues shooting at the cannibals. Crusoe frees the prisoner from the bonds that tie his hands and feet. In response to questions that Crusoe asks him in Portuguese, the prisoner replies that he is Spanish. Crusoe gives the Spaniard his sword and a pistol. Although he is weak as a result of his captivity, the Spaniard joins Crusoe and Friday in the fight against the cannibals. Between them, Crusoe, Friday and the Spaniard kill all the cannibals apart from four who escape in a canoe.

Friday says that the four cannibals who are escaping will come back with more unless they are killed first. He says that he and Crusoe should get in another canoe and chase after them. Crusoe gets into one of the canoes that the cannibals have left behind. He sees that there is another prisoner in there. Crusoe removes the bonds from the man's hands and feet. The prisoner still appears to be very frightened, apparently believing that Crusoe will eat him. Crusoe asks Friday to speak to the man in his own language. Friday is overcome with joy when he sees the man. He is Friday's father. Crusoe and Friday do not go to sea in pursuit of the cannibals. This is fortunate because a very bad storm starts soon afterwards.

Friday's father and the Spaniard are brought back to Crusoe's home. Friday acts as interpreter when Crusoe speaks, the Spaniard is able to understand the language of Friday's people quite well. Crusoe asks Friday's father if he thinks that the four cannibals who have escaped will come back with more. Friday's father says that he does not think so. The cannibals believed Crusoe and Friday to be powerful spirits rather than people. If the four cannibals have survived the storm, when they return home, they will say that all of their companions were killed by thunder sent by the gods. This turns out to be true. The cannibals come to believe that the island is bewitched and never visit it again.

From the Spaniard, Crusoe learns that it would not be a good idea for him to travel to Friday's country. That is because the Spaniard and the sixteen other Spanish and Portuguese shipwrecked sailors who have been living in that land with him lead a miserable life there. They have no weapons and hardly any food or clothes. Crusoe asks the Spaniard if he and the other sixteen men would be willing to accept his leadership and attempt to sail to a European colony together. Crusoe fears that he may be taken prisoner or even handed over to the Inquisition as soon as he reaches a Spanish colony. The Spaniard assures Crusoe that his sixteen comrades would obey him and would not ill treat him or betray him.

Przypadki Robinsona Kruzoe page 0311

Friday's father and the Spaniard leave the island. Illustration from an 1868 Polish edition of Robinson Crusoe.

Preparations begin to be made to bring the other sixteen European men over to Crusoe's island. The Spaniard then points out that Crusoe does not have enough barley or rice to feed sixteen more men on his island or to provide for a long sea voyage. Crusoe has to admit that this is true. As a result, the Spaniard and Friday's father stay on the island for another six months to help rectify the situation. Crusoe, the Spaniard, Friday and Friday's father prepare more fields in which rice and barley can be grown. When harvest time comes, there is a bumper crop that is sufficient to provide for twenty men on a long sea journey. The Spaniard and Friday's father then leave the island in one of the canoes that the cannibals left behind. They are each given a gun, enough food for their journey and some extra food for the castaway's in Friday's country.

Eight days later, Friday excitedly comes running up to Crusoe and says, "they are come, they are come". From the top of a hill, Crusoe sees what appears to be an English ship. Crusoe is somewhat worried because his island is not near to any part of the world to which the British normally go. He fears that those on board the ship may be up to no good. A long-boat comes from the ship to the island. Eleven men disembark, three of those men are clearly prisoners of the others. The other men intend to leave the prisoners marooned on the island and then go. Their long-boat, however, gets caught in muddy sand at low tide. They decide to stay on the island until the next high tide. Crusoe knows that will not be for another ten hours. In the hot afternoon, most of the men go into the wood to sleep.

Crusoe then approaches the prisoners. He speaks to them in Spanish at first but then finds out that they are English too. The three men are the former captain of the ship, his first-mate and a passenger. The other men on the ship had risen up in mutiny against them. The captain goes on to say that the mutineers only took two guns with them to the island and that they left one of them in the long-boat. Crusoe says that he will help the captain to recover his ship if he will then take him and Friday back to England free of charge. The captain happily agrees to this condition. He says that two of the mutineers on the island are ringleaders of the mutiny and are dangerous criminals who need to be killed, the rest can be taken prisoner. Crusoe gives the captain, the first-mate and the passenger guns.

The mutineers are taken by surprise. The two ringleaders are killed and the rest are taken prisoner. They all agree to give up their mutiny and accept the captain's command again. Crusoe, however, insists that they be bound hand and foot while they are on the island.

The captain says that he does not know how they will recover the ship because there are still twenty-six mutineers on board it. Crusoe then says that other mutineers will probably soon come to the island to see what has happened to their comrades. They will probably come bearing weapons and be impossible to defeat. Crusoe goes on to say that they should first render the long-boat useless to the mutineers. The food and rum are taken out of the long-boat, its mast, sail, oars and rudder are removed and large hole is knocked in its bottom. It is also moved further up the beach so that the tide will not carry it away.

Eventually, ten more armed men leave the ship in another long-boat to see what has happened to their shipmates. Crusoe and the captain watch them through a telescope. The captain says that three of them are honest men who were forced into the mutiny. As the long-boat approaches, two prisoners that the captain mistrust more than the others are taken to the cave near Crusoe's second home. From there, they will be less likely to hear the other mutineers call out to them. Three of the prisoners are released because they have agreed to join Crusoe and the captain in the fight to regain the ship. The remaining prisoners are left in Crusoe's first home.

The mutineers come ashore. They see the damaged long-boat. They call out for their comrades and fire their pistols as a signal to them. They receive no response. They go back to the ship. Shortly afterwards, however, after having obviously consulted with the other mutineers on the ship, the same ten men come back to the island again. This time, three men stay in the long-boat. After the other seven men get out of the long-boat, the three men row it away from the shore.

Robinson von Offterdinger und Zweigle Kap 18 Boot

Some of the mutineers are taken by surprise. Illustration by Carl Offterdinger and Walter Zweigle from a late 19th century German edition of Robinson Crusoe'.

For a while, Crusoe is at a loss as to what to do. After night has fallen, he tells Friday and the first-mate to go to the part of the island to which Friday was brought as a prisoner of the cannibals. They then call out, "Halloo", to get the mutineers to come towards them. The seven mutineers follow the call. They come to the creek which, due to the tide, they cannot cross. The seven mutineers then call out to the three men in the long-boat to come over and get them across the creek. One man then gets out of the boat and leaves with the other seven. Crusoe, the captain and the other men at their command then take the two men in the boat by surprise. The captain knocks one of them unconscious with the butt of his rifle and orders the other man to surrender. He is one of the honest men that the captain spoke of earlier. He surrenders and joins the captain's effort to recover the ship.

Friday and the first-mate keep moving to different parts of the island and keep calling out, "Halloo", to get the mutineers to come to them. Eventually, the mutineers, who are beginning to think that the island is bewitched by that time, are led back to the creek and see the empty boat. Crusoe and the other men under his command come closer to the mutineers but remain in hiding. Not wanting to miss the opportunity to do so, the captain shoots two leaders of the mutiny dead. The former mutineer, who had been in the boat and who has now joined Crusoe and the captain, calls out to the remaining mutineers. He tells them that the captain has fifty armed men with him. The captain then tells the mutineers that the island they have come to is not uninhabited. He says that it is governed by an Englishman who can hang them all for mutiny if they do not surrender immediately. The mutineers surrender. Crusoe keeps out of sight in order to keep up the fiction that he is the governor of the island, something that the mutineers would not believe if they saw him in his goatskin clothes.

At the captain's suggestion, three recently arrived ringleaders of the mutiny are separated from the other prisoners and kept in the cave near Crusoe's second home. The captain tells the other prisoners that they may be pardoned if they join him in his fight to recapture the ship. They gladly agree. Five of those prisoners remain behind on the island as hostages. The damaged long-boat having been repaired, the captain, the first-mate, the passenger and the former mutineers return to the ship in the two long-boats. They retake the ship. The mutineer who set himself up as captain is killed. The other members of the crew surrender.

The following morning, the captain returns to the island. He tells Crusoe that the ship is now at his disposal and can take him wherever he wants to go in the world. The captain also thanks Crusoe by giving him several presents, including many new clothes.

The captain still thinks that five ringleaders of the mutiny cannot be trusted. He does not, however, want them to be hanged for mutiny. Crusoe says that he can persuade the men to volunteer to stay on the island. The five men are brought to Crusoe. In his new clothes, Crusoe could easily pass for the governor of the island. Crusoe tells the men that, as governor of the island, he could hang them as pirates. They have, however, a chance to live. Crusoe says that he is leaving the island and is taking all of his men with him. The five men can stay behind on the deserted island and try to make a life for themselves there. They agree to this proposition.

The following day, Crusoe sees the five men again. He tells them the truth about himself and his time on the island. He tells them how to make unleavened bread, how to make raisins, how to look after the goats and how to make butter and cheese. He leaves them his guns and his sword. He also gets the captain to supply them with more gunpowder and more seeds so that they can grow more crops. Crusoe also tells the five men about the seventeen Spanish and Portuguese castaways who may be coming to the island. He tells them to treat the Spanish and Portuguese sailors well.

Przypadki Robinsona Kruzoe page 0336

Crusoe and Friday prepare to leave the island. Illustration from an 1868 Polish edition of Robinson Crusoe.

The ship leaves the island on December 19, 1686, more than twenty-eight years after Crusoe arrived on it. Crusoe takes one of his parrots with him and takes his goatskin cap and his umbrella as souvenirs. He also takes all the money that he salvaged both from his own shipwreck and from the wreck of the Spanish ship, Friday accompanies Crusoe. As the ship sails away, three of the prisoners who had been left behind on the island swim out to it. They beg to be let on board the ship, even if it means they have to be hanged, because they are so frightened of the other two prisoners. The captain allows them to come on board, although he has them whipped for their crime.

After a long voyage, Crusoe arrives in England on June 11, 1687. He has been away from the country for thirty-five years. He finds that both of his parents are dead and, because he was long given up for dead also, he has no inheritance. He is, however, given two hundred pounds by the owners of the ship on which he sailed back to England as a reward for helping to recover it from the mutineers.

Crusoe wants to find out if he can reclaim his sugar plantation in Brazil. Accompanied by Friday, he goes to Portugal to see if he can get any further information there. In Lisbon, he finds that his old friend the Portuguese sea captain, who rescued him when he escaped from slavery many years earlier, is still alive. The old captain tells Crusoe that, since his death was never proven, he can reclaim the plantation and he does not need to travel to Brazil in order to do so. Eventually Crusoe receives the profits that are owed to him from his plantation in the form of gold and various goods worth five thousand pounds.

Rather than going back to Brazil, Crusoe decides to return to England. He feels strangely uneasy about traveling back to England by sea. He thinks about traveling back on two different ships but then changes his mind and stays in Lisbon. One of those ships is attacked by Algerian pirates and the other is wrecked in a storm. The sea captain advises Crusoe to make as much of his homeward journey as possible by land through Spain and France. Crusoe and Friday join up with several English and Portuguese merchants who are making the same journey.

Winter comes on early that year. Heavy snowfall in the Pyrenees makes crossing from Spain to France impossible. Crusoe and the merchants are forced to stay in Pamplona for several days. They then meet some French merchants who were able to cross into Spain because they had a guide who was bale to lead them through the parts of the mountains that were least affected by snow. Crusoe and his companions are put in contact with the guide. He advises them to carry guns so that they can protect themselves from wolves and bears.

One evening, three wolves and a bear suddenly rush out from a wood. One of the wolves attacks the guide, biting him in the arm and the leg. Friday bravely goes up to the wolf and kills it by shooting it in the head.

Friday teaching the bear to dance

Friday lures the bear to its death. Illustration by Alexander Frank Lydon from an 1865 British edition of Robinson Crusoe.

Although the bear is not interested in the men and, therefore, poses no threat to them, Friday decides to amuse the others by showing them how bears are killed in his own country. He throws a stone at the bear to make it angry. He climbs up a tree, leaving his rifle at the foot of it. The bear follows him. Friday jumps up and down on a bough. This makes the bear move too and makes it look as if the animal is dancing. Friday then starts to climb down the tree. The bear follows him. Friday then grabs his rifle and kills the bear by shooting it in its ear. Friday explains that in his own country they use long arrows rather than guns.

Crusoe and his traveling companions have to fight off many more wolves before they arrive at the village where they are to spend the night. Due to the severity of the wounds that the guide received when the wolf attacked him, he cannot continue with the journey. Crusoe and the other men find another guide in the village who leads them safely to Toulouse. The remainder of Crusoe's journey back to England passes without incident.

When he returns to England, Crusoe sells his sugar plantation in Brazil. He marries and has three children. He often thinks about going back to sea, however, and wants to see his island again.

After his wife dies, Crusoe sails back to the Caribbean and returns to his island. He takes an English carpenter and smith with him who are to settle on the island. Crusoe finds that the two former mutineers are still living there and the seventeen Spanish and Portuguese sailors have settled there too. Some of the Spanish and Portuguese sailors abducted women from the mainland and there are now about twenty children on the island. Crusoe later has some cows, sheep and pigs sent over to the island from Brazil. He sends seven women from Brazil to the island too and promises the former mutineers that he will arrange for women to come over from England for them.

Crusoe concludes his narrative by saying that he has more adventures to relate in a future book.


The popularity of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe led to the creation of a literary genre known as Robinsonade, a term coined by the German author Johann Gottfried Schnabel in 1731. Many novels about castaways on desert islands were written in the 18th and 19th centuries. Most of those have now faded into obscurity.

Notable works of literature inspired by Robinson Crusoe include:

CC No 10 Robinson Crusoe

Issue #10 of Classic Comics from April 1943 includes an adaptation of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe.

  • Johann David Wyss' Der Schweizerische Robinson (1812), translated into English as The Swiss Family Robinson
  • Catherine Parr Traill's Canadian Crusoes (1852), considered to be the first Canadian novel for children
  • Jules Verne's L'École des Robinsons (1882), translated into English as Godfrey Morgan: A Californian Mystery and School for Crusoes
  • Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Little Pig Robinson (1930), this children's novel also serves as a prequel to Edward Lear's nonsense poem "The Owl and the Pussycat"
  • Michel Tournier's Vendredi ou les Limbes du Pacifique (1967), translated into English as Friday, or, The Other Island, Tournier also adapted his novel for children as Vendredi ou la Vie sauvage, which was first published in 1971
  • J.M. Coetzee's Foe (1986)
  • Patrick Chamoiseau's L'empreinte à Crusoé (2012)

Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, first published just seven years after Robinson Crusoe, has been interpreted as a direct response to Defoe's novel which takes a much more pessimistic view of human nature.

In Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, the character of Crusoe is parodied in the form of Ben Gunn, a castaway who dresses in goatskins and who constantly talks about "providence".

The first pantomime[7] version of Robinson Crusoe was staged at London's Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 1796. The famous clown Joey Grimaldi appeared in the performance. Pantomimes loosely based on Robinson Crusoe continue to be performed at theaters across the United Kingdom at Christmastime and the start of the New Year to this day.

Robinson Crusoé is an opéra comique[8] by Jacques Offenbach with libretto by Eugene Cormon and Hector-Jonathan Crémiux. It was first performed in Paris on November 3, 1867. The libretto was based on the script of a British pantomime of Robinson Crusoe rather than on Defoe's novel. It tells of how Crusoe goes to sea so that he can seek his fortune and marry his sweetheart Edwige. Six years later, Edwige and her friends Suzanne and Toby go to sea in search of Crusoe. After their ship is attacked by pirates, they find themselves on a different part of the island which, unknown to them, is inhabited by Crusoe and Friday.

Films based on Robinson Crusoe include:

The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1922) - 1

Harry Myers as Robinson Crusoe in an image from the March 23, 1922 issue of Silverscreen magazine.

  • Robinson Crusoe (France 1902), a short silent movie directed by Georges Méliès who also stars as Crusoe
  • Robinson Crusoe (USA 1916), directed by George F. Marion, starring Robert Paton Gibbs as Crusoe
  • The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (USA 1922), a serial of 18 episodes directed by Robert F. Hill, starring Harry Myers as Crusoe and Noble Johnson as Friday, now believed to be lost
  • Robinson Crusoe (UK 1927) directed by M.A. Wetherell, starring M.A. Wetherell as Crusoe and Herbert Waithe as Friday
  • Robinson Crusoe (USSR 1947), a 3D film directed by Aleksander Andriyevsky, starring Pavel Kadochnikov as Crusoe and Yuri Lyubimov as Friday
  • Il naufrago del Pacifico (France/Italy 1950), directed by Jeff Musso, starring Georges Marchal as Crusoe and Mauro Sambucci as Friday
  • Miss Robin Crusoe (USA 1954), directed by Eugene Frenke, starring Amanda Blake as Miss Robin Crusoe and Rosalind Hayes as a female Friday
  • Robinson Crusoe (Mexico 1954), directed by Luis Buñuel, starring Dan O'Herlihy as Crusoe and Jaime Fernández as Friday, versions in both Spanish and English were produced
  • Robinson Crusoe on Mars (USA 1964), directed by Byron Haskin, a science fiction version of the story, starring Paul Mantee as Commander Kit Draper (the Crusoe character) and Victor Lundin as a humanoid alien whom Draper names Friday
  • Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N. (USA 1966), directed by Byron Paul, starring Dick Van Dyke as Lieutenant Robin Crusoe and Nancy Kwan as Wednesday
  • Robinson Crusoe and the Tiger (Mexico 1970), directed by René Crdona Jr., starring Hugo Stiglitz as Crusoe and Ahui Camacho as Friday
  • Man Friday (UK/USA 1975), directed by Jack Gold, starring Richard Roundtree as Friday and Peter O'Toole as Crusoe, a humorous revisionist version told from the point of view of Friday (a black African) which takes a critical look at Western culture
  • Mr. Robinson (Italy 1976), a parody directed by Sergio Corbucci, starring Paolo Villaggio as Robinson and Zeudi Araya as a female Friday
  • Crusoe (UK 1989), directed by Caleb Deschanel, starring Aidan Quinn as Crusoe and Adé Sapora as the unnamed cannibal warrior who shares the island with Crusoe
  • Robinson Crusoe (Australia/USA 1997), a film which had a limited theatrical release in which the story is relocated to New Guinea, directed by Rod Hardy and George T. Miller, starring Pierce Brosnan as Crusoe and William Takaku as Friday
  • Robinson Crusoe (Belgium/France 2016), released in North America as The Wild Life, a 3D computer animated film directed by Vincent Kesteloot and Ben Stassen, Yuri Lowenthal voices Crusoe in the English dub
Dennis Day Jack Benny Jack Benny Show 1963

1963 publicity photo for the American TV comedy program The Jack Benny Show which shows Dennis Day as Friday and Jack Benny as Crusoe.

The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (French: Les Aventures de Robinson Crusoë; German; Robinson Crusoe) is a TV series of thirteen episodes that was co-produced by Franco London films and the German television network ZDF. It stars the Austrian actor Robert Hoffmann as Crusoe and Fabian Cevallos as Friday. The series premiered on German television on October 3, 1964. It also first aired in the United States in syndication later that year. It premiered on French television on September 10, 1965 and on British television on October 12, 1965. The series continued to be regularly rerun on British television, as part of the BBC's children's programming, until 1983.

A British TV movie based on Robinson Crusoe, starring Stanley Baker as Crusoe and the Guyanese actor Ram John Holder as Friday, was first shown on BBC 1 as an episode of Play of the Month on November 27, 1974.

Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, a Sailor from York (Czech: Dobrodružství Robinsona Crusoe, námořníka z Yorku) is an hour-long stop motion animated film that was first shown on television in Czechoslovakia on April 1, 1982.

The twelve-episode mini-series Crusoe, starring the American actor Philip C. Winchester as Crusoe and the Zimbabwean actor Tongayi Chirisa as Friday, is an American-British-Canadian-South African co-production. The first episode originally aired on NBC in the United States on October 17, 2008.

The animated TV series Robinson Sucroe (French: Robinson Sucroë), co-produced by the French company France Animation and the Canadian company Cinar, is loosely based on Robinson Crusoe. It premiered on the French TV channel France 2 on January 16, 1995. The series takes place in the late 18th century. Robinson Sucroe is an American journalist who is sent to an uninhabited island by a New York newspaper. He is expected to write stories about his difficult and dangerous life on the island. A boat comes once a week to collect his stories. It turns out that the island is not uninhabited and life there is not particularly difficult or dangerous. Fortunately, Sucroe has a friend named Wednesday who is able to make up fanciful stories for him to write.


  1. The novel was originally published under the full title of 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 Pyrates.
  2. It has been argued that other works of long prose fiction that were written in English before Robinson Crusoe can also be considered novels. Those works include Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur (1470), William Baldwin's Beware the Cat (1553), John Lyly's Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit (1578) and Euphues and his England (1580), Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia (1581), Margaret Cavendish's The Blazing World (1666), John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress (1678) and Aphra Behn's Oroonoko (1688).
  3. The island on which Alexander Selkirk lived now forms part of the national territory of Chile. It was formerly known as Más a Tierra but was officially renamed Robinson Crusoe Island (Isla Robinson Crusoe) in 1966.
  4. In the novel, the character's name is Friday. Crusoe, however, frequently refers to "my man Friday", meaning "my servant Friday".
  5. The words, "Call on Me in the day of trouble and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me", are from Psalm 50:15 in the King James Bible.
  6. The words, "Wait on the Lord, and be of good cheer, and He shall strengthen thy heart, wait I say, on the Lord", are from Psalm 27:14 in the King James Bible.
  7. A British pantomime is a kind of musical comedy stage production intended for a family audience that is traditionally performed at Christmastime and the start of the New Year. Pantomimes usually involve songs, dance, slapstick comedy, topical humor and a lot of audience participation. The lead male role (the "principal boy") is usually played by a young woman and a comical female role (the "pantomime dame") is usually played by a man. Pantomimes are usually loose adaptations of well-known stories that are familiar to children, such as tales from The Thousand and One Nights, the fairy tales of Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz or Peter Pan.
  8. An opéra comique is a kind of French opera in which some of the dialogue is spoken rather than sung. Although Offenbach's Robinson Crusoé is intended to be humorous, the stories of opéras comiques are not necessarily comical in nature.

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