Robinson Crusoe

In 1719 why was Robinson Crusoe considered 'the first English novel'?

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There is still some debate about whether or not Defoe's Robinson Crusoe was actually the 'first' English novel, but it was definitely one of the first, that's for certain. Le Morete d'Arthur which was published in 1485 certainly has a valid claim as well. Robinson Crusoe is given this dubious designation mainly because it featured an indentifiably English hero and espoused typically English notions of God, Country, and self sufficiency.