Robinson Crusoe Criticism

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Robinson Crusoe did not revolutionize the book industry in London, but it was a great commercial success; in fact, a second edition was released within only two weeks after the first had been published. Pirated editions came out within hours of the book's release. One of these pirated editions, known as the 'O' edition, is extremely valuable today.

Critical reaction to Robinson Crusoe is generally negative or patronizing. Many early commentators derided the novel as commercial and unrefined. Yet many commentators celebrated the adventurous hero, Robinson Crusoe.

Charles Gildon launched the first sustained attack on Defoe's novel with The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Mr. D-De F-, in 1719. In his critique, Gildon focuses on the novel's inaccuracies, as well as a "Looseness and Incorrectness of Stile."

His most interesting criticism, however, charges Defoe with slander in regards to English shipping practices. He contends that there is "no...

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This section contains 700 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Robinson Crusoe Study Guide
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Robinson Crusoe from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.