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Crusoe: Daniel Defoe, Robert Knox And The Creation Of A Myth

Katherine Frank



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03 December 2012
Fiction companions
It is January 1719 and Daniel Defoe, almost sixty, sits at a table, writing. He is troubled with gout and debt, but for now is preoccupied with a younger man on a barren shore - Robinson Crusoe, for which he will principally be remembered.

Several miles south, an old man, Robert Knox, is bent over a heavy volume. It is Historical Relation, his account of being held captive on Ceylon, published forty years ago after he escaped and returned to England. It has long been out of print, but a copy perhaps sits on the desk of Daniel Defoe as he writes.

Where did Crusoe come from? And what is the secret of his endurance? Crusoe explores the intertwined lives of two real men - Daniel Defoe and Robert Knox - and the character and book that emerged from their peculiar conjunction. It is the biography of a book and its hero, the story of Defoe, the man who wrote Robinson Crusoe, and of Robert Knox, the man who was Crusoe.
By:   Katherine Frank
Imprint:   Pimlico
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   484g
ISBN:   9781844135332
ISBN 10:   1844135330
Publication Date:   03 December 2012
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Reviews for Crusoe: Daniel Defoe, Robert Knox And The Creation Of A Myth

This is a beautifully constructed book and, ultimately, a moving one -- James McConnachie * Sunday Times * The book captures the vigour, toughness, cruelty, romance and excitement of late 17th century England and its early imperial adventures -- Andrew Robinson * Independent * Her unusual dual biography is not only a thrilling read but an eye opening account of life in the 17th Century, whether in the stocks in London or marooned somewhere in Paradise * Mail on Sunday * There have been other biographies of Defoe and other mariners have been proposed as his inspiration. Yet the enthralling Crusoe earns its keep as it weaves together the twin biographies of Knox and Defoe, two extraordinary lives which spiral round like the double helix to produce the DNA of the iconic character in goatskin garments -- Jonathan Sale * Daily Telegraph * It's remarkable how the Robinson Crusoe story still determines aspects of travel and tourism * Conde Nast Traveller *

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