Michael Shinagel has collated the reprint with all six authorized editions published by Taylor in 1719 to achieve a text that is faithful to Defoe's original edition. Annotations assist the reader with obscure words and idioms, biblical references, and nautical terms.
Contexts helps the reader understand the novel's historical and religious significance. Included are four contemporary accounts of marooned men, Defoe's autobiographical passages on the novel's allegorical foundation, and aspects of the Puritan emblematic tradition essential for understanding the novel's religious aspects.
Eighteenth-and Nineteenth-Century Opinions is a comprehensive study of early estimations by prominent literary and political figures, including Alexander Pope, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Samuel Johnson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, Edgar Allen Poe, Thomas Babington Macaulay, Charles Dickens, Karl Marx, and John Stuart Mill.
Twentieth-Century Criticism is a collection of fourteen essays (five of them new to the Second Edition) that presents a variety of perspectives on Robinson Crusoe by Virginia Woolf, Ian Watt, Eric Berne, Maximillian E. Novak, Frank Budgen, James Joyce, George A. Starr, J. Paul Hunter, James Sutherland, John J. Richetti, Leopold Damrosch, Jr., John Bender, Michael McKeon, and Carol Houlihan Flynn.
A Chronology of Defoe's life and work and an updated Selected Bibliography are also included.
Daniel Defoe (1659-1661) was an English writer and journalist most widely known for his novel Robinson Crusoe, originally published in 1719. His work varied from political pamphlets to poetry, and included other novels such as Religious Courtship and The Political History of the Devil. He lived in London, England.
Michael Shinagel received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, where he is Senior Lecturer on English and Dean of Continuing Education and University Extension. He has also taught at Cornell University and Union College. He is the author of Daniel Defoe and Middle-Class Gentility, editor of A Concordance to the Poems of Jonathan Swift, and co-editor of Harvard Scholars in English, 1890-1990. His articles and reviews have appeared in various scholarly journals.