Sign In

- Or use -
Forgot Password Create Account
Stock# 103847

First Illustrated Editions.

"... Defoe suddenly disclosed a genius for devising a tale of adventure." - PMM

Often hailed as the first novel in the English language, Daniel Defoe's classic novel first appeared in 1719-1720 and was an immediate success, resulting in multiple editions within the first few years to 1722. The present set is the first to appear with illustrations ("Adorned with Cuts" in the language of the title page). In his magisterial treatment of Robinson Crusoe, Henry Clinton Hutchins lays out, in exacting detail, the book's early publication history. He does not consider it complete unless it appears with all three works present here. We quote liberally from Hutchins:

The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe...

Sixth Edition. See Hutchins, pages 83-85.

"The Sixth Edition is at the same time both rare and interesting. It is the first of the Taylor editions appearing with the red and black title-page which was so popular on the continent and which occurs so frequently in the German and French editions of Robinson Crusoe and in its imitations. And it is the first edition of Part I appearing with the illustrations, interesting in the extreme as forerunners of the long line of famous engravings by illustrious artists to follow through the remainder of the century." - Hutchins, page 84

The most famous part of the work focuses on the shipwreck of Crusoe, who finds himself stranded on a deserted island near the Orinoco River. Through his ingenuity and perseverance, Crusoe survives more than two decades on the island, encountering cannibals, captives, and mutineers before ultimately being rescued. The story is a detailed account of Crusoe's struggles to maintain his humanity and sanity in isolation while also exploring themes of civilization versus nature, and the tension between Providence and personal agency.

The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe...

Third Edition. See Hutchins, pages 115-118.

This sequel picks up where the first book ends, with Crusoe returning to England and finding it vastly different from when he left. Feeling restless, Crusoe sets out again for further adventures, traveling back to his island and then around the world. This part expands on his earlier experiences and includes philosophical reflections on society and the human condition.

Serious Reflections During the Life and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe...

First edition, first issue, first ("The") variant. "All copies of Serious Reflections, whichever catchword appears on p. 270, belong to the first issue, for there was but one printing. Therefore all copies of this Third Part of Robinson Crusoe should be described bibliographically as: First Edition, First Issue, with the first ("The") or second ("A") variant reading on p. 270." - Hutchins, page 128

"The book quite evidently failed to catch the fancy of the public, and as Lee justly says, few people are aware of the existence of the Serious Reflections of Robinson Crusoe. To bibliographers and collectors alike, however, it presents a valuable and interesting item. While copies of the first two parts are more sought after and are rarer, and while it is these that make the book costly, yet no set of Robinson Crusoe is considered complete without this third volume." - Hutchins, pages 124-25

This third part is significantly more introspective and philosophical. It consists of Crusoe’s reflections on various moral and spiritual issues, written as if he were still on the island. It includes a series of essays and dialogues discussing topics such as ethics, education, and religion. This section is often noted for its deeper dive into the protagonist's psyche, providing a critique of European society through the lens of Crusoe's experiences.


Thomas Gardnor, Esq., his engraved bookplates.
Inscribed in ink on the title pages "Rt. Hudson" "Octr. 11 1816"

Condition Description
Three books bound as three volumes. Octavo. Contemporary calf ruled and paneled in blind (neatly rebacked to style). Internally clean and bright. Flyleaves probably renewed.
Pagination, Adventures: [6], 364, [4, ads], engraved folding map of the world and 6 engraved single-page plates.
Farther Adventures: 318, [2, ads], 6 engraved single-page plates.
Serious Reflections: [16], 270, 64, 63-84, [2, ads], engraved folding map of Crusoe's island.
Hutchins, Robinson Crusoe and its printing 1719-1731. See PMM 180.