DeFoe, Robinson Crusoe (1719):Introduction

From Marteau


A Note on the Text

The present edition of Daniel DeFoe's Robinson Crusoe follows the first edition as published by William Taylor, London, 1719, copy of the British Library, shelf-mark: C.30.f.6, ESTC T072264, 18th Century Microfilm reel 6536, Eighteenth Century Collections Online.

The Marteau-text is a comparably radical attempt to offer insight into the copy text.

  • We have reproduced all spelling mistakes (and added marginal notes with the “correct” readings of subsequent editions),
  • letters which were lost in print have been supplemented in square brackets,
  • “dowu” p.52 and “acconnt” p.364 have been corrected to “dow[n]” and “acco[u]nt”
  • “mav’st” p.134 to “ma[y]’st”;
  • p.343 reads: “goingt by Sea at all, except from Calais to Dover, thah I resolv’d to travel all the Way by Land; whice as I was not in Haste, and did not value th  Charge” – a mistake we could not reproduce properly, as it was caused by the the individual letters t, h, e - the last of three sucessive lines - moving each one line up.

Our edition tries to give a picture of the text's - hasty - composition. The preface was not proofread and the "Errata" p.364 still shed light into what appears to be a lack of interaction between compositor and author: It seems the compositor noted on p.46 – looking back on what had he had read on p.7 – an incoherence in Crusoe's reckoning of time. He left a blank where the manuscript seems to have given the correct date (the date p.7 contained the mistake), and it seems he contacted the author on the problem. The printing went on, p.7 remained as it was and so did p.46 - it was eventually published with the provisional blank whilst the Errata at the end, p.364, supplied the correct date for p.7.

We have reproduced these “Errors” with all the other “mistakes” later editions “corrected”, and we have taken special care to reproduce all the other graphical elements the text offered from the initials to the headpieces. The text is published with indication of the original pagination so that it is possible to quote our edition with page references to the first edition.

If you find mistakes (or mistakes we failed to reproduce or note) do not hesitate to contact us at (My special thanks to Andrew Henderson for some of the corrections).

Introduction and Notes

...will follow together with images of maps, tools, and ships based on contemoprary materials. The present edition is work in progress and requires a bit of patience

Olaf Simons and Christopher Villmar