The original flavor of these classics has been carefully retained in these abridged versions.
Must be read by the youth, housewives, students and executives.
A true page-turner, Robinson Crusoe is one of the most enduring novels in the English language and its unique blend of extraordinary realism and brilliant drama continues to delight readers the world over.
This Macmillan Collector’s Library edition of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe features illustrations by the celebrated Victorian caricaturist George Cruikshank, and an afterword by writer and journalist Ned Halley.
Designed to appeal to the booklover, the Macmillan Collector's Library is a series of beautiful gift editions of much loved classic titles. Macmillan Collector's Library are books to love and treasure.
Epistolary, confessional, and didactic in form, the book is presented as an autobiography of the title character (whose birth name is Robinson Kreutznaer)—a castaway who spends thirty years on a remote tropical island near Trinidad, encountering cannibals, captives, and mutineers before being rescued.
Being an Introduction to the whole Work.
I doubt not but the title of this book will amuse some of my reading friends a little at first; they will make a pause, perhaps, as they do at a witch’s prayer, and be some time resolving whether they had best look into it or no, lest they should really raise the Devil by reading his story.
Children and old women have told themselves so many frightful things of the Devil, and have form’d ideas of him in their minds, in so many horrible and monstrous shapes, that really it were enough to fright the Devil himself, to meet himself in the dark, dress’d up in the several figures which imagination has form’d for him in the minds of men; and as for themselves, I cannot think by any means that the Devil would terrify them half so much, if they were to converse face to face with him.
It must certainly therefore be a most useful undertaking to give the true history of this Tyrant of the air, this God of the world, this terror and aversion of mankind, which we call Devil; to shew what he is, and what he is not, where he is, and where he is not, when he is in us, and when he is not; for I cannot doubt but that the Devil is really and bona fide in a great many of our honest weak-headed friends, when they themselves know nothing of the matter.
Nor is the work so difficult as some may imagine. The Devil’s history is not so hard to come at, as it seems to be; His original and the first rise of his family is upon record, and as for his conduct, he has acted indeed in the dark, as to method in many things; but in general, as cunning as he is, he has been fool enough to expose himself in some of the most considerable transactions of his Life, and has not shewn himself a politician at all: Our old friend Matchiavel outdid him in many things, and I may in the process of this work give an account of several of the sons of Adam, and some societies of ’em too, who have out-witted the Devil, nay, who have out-sin’dthe Devil, and that I think may be call’d out-shooting him in his own bow.
Historical appendices relate to eighteenth-century Virginia and Maryland and to contemporary crime, punishment, and imprisonment.
The world is so taken up of late with novels and romances, that it will be hard for a private history to be taken for genuine, where the names and other circumstances of the person are concealed, and on this account we must be content to leave the reader to pass his own opinion upon the ensuing sheet, and take it just as he pleases.
The author is here supposed to be writing her own history, and in the very beginning of her account she gives the reasons why she thinks fit to conceal her true name, after which there is no occasion to say any more about that.
It is true that the original of this story is put into new words, and the style of the famous lady we here speak of is a little altered; particularly she is made to tell her own tale in modester words that she told it at first, the copy which came first to hand having been written in language more like one still in Newgate than one grown penitent and humble, as she afterwards pretends to be.
The pen employed in finishing her story, and making it what you now see it to be, has had no little difficulty to put it into a dress fit to be seen, and to make it speak language fit to be read. When a woman debauched from her youth, nay, even being the offspring of debauchery and vice, comes to give an account of all her vicious practices, and even to descend to the particular occasions and circumstances by which she ran through in threescore years, an author must be hard put to it wrap it up so clean as not to give room, especially for vicious readers, to turn it to his disadvantage.