— [http://goo.gl/5Dy9bY] Robinson Crusoe , a young Englishman with a lust for adventure , runs away from his family and goes to sea. Robinson Crusoe suffers many trials – storms, shipwreck, an attack by pirates, imprisonment and slavery – from which he escapes, through luck and cunning but also by forcing a fellow slave, Xury, to help him.

While Robinson Crusoe may well throw up 'universal themes', the core exists in a framework which is closely tied to a particular time and a particular ideology: namely, the period of British imperialism – the period when Britain was expanding its trading and colonial interests abroad, and when a good deal of British wealth was derived from the slave trade.

Robinson Crusoe is of interest when studying the spread of English across the world. It is a narrative which tends to uphold the ideology of British imperialism: indeed it might be said that it produces a positively charged myth of British imperialism, and included in this myth is an episode of language education (Chapter 15, p. 124-132: "Friday's Education.").

Robinson Crusoe demonstrates that the idea of English as a superior language is tied in with a broader set of other beliefs, all of which are closely connected with British colonialism. Through the character of Crusoe, is articulated:



• ✔ A belief that Europeans have the right to claim possession of the world beyond Europe, including its lands, goods, and people.
• ✔ A belief in the superiority of European 'civilisation' over foreign 'savagery'.
• ✔ A belief that the only true religion is Christianity.
• ✔ A belief that Europeans should educate the peoples they encounter in European ways.


I began to instruct him in the knowledge of the true God; I told him that the great Maker of all things lived up there, pointing up towards heaven; that He governed the world by the same power and providence by which He made it; that He was omnipotent, and could do everything for us, give everything to us, take everything from us; and thus, by degrees, I opened his eyes. He listened with great attention, and received with pleasure the notion of Jesus Christ being sent to redeem us; and of the manner of making our prayers to God, and His being able to hear us, even in heaven. He told me one day, that if our God could hear us, up beyond the sun, he must needs be a greater God than their Benamucke... I seriously prayed to God that He would enable me to instruct savingly this poor savage... the soul of a poor savage... This savage was now a good Christian... this savage creature. Chapter 15, p. 127-129: "Friday's Education."


The main thing that Robinson Crusoe demonstrates is that an assumption that English should be spoken abroad is integrated within a web of belief concerning the rightness of the European over the foreigner. Robinson Crusoe is a work which shapes a notion of the imperial project: it is a narrative asserting the 'naturalness' of the European imposition upon the colonies, and the English language is intimately tied up within that project.



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A novel like Robinson Crusoe represented and 'explained' the remote shores of European exploration, but it also reproduced and upheld colonial politics by turning imperialism into an 'adventure.'


MP3 — « Robinson Crusoe by Daniel DEFOE», Action & Adventure Fiction, Linguistic Imperialism ::



Robinson Crusoe by Daniel DEFOE


  1. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner: Chapter 1 – Start in Life. Read by Denny Sayers, MP3 - 39min
  2. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner: Chapter 2 – Slavery and Escape. Read by Denny Sayers, MP3 - 35min
  3. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner: Chapter 3 – Wrecked on a Desert Island. Read by Denny Sayers, MP3 - 49min
  4. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner: Chapter 4 – First Weeks on the Island. Read by Denny Sayers, MP3 - 59min
  5. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner: Chapter 5 – Builds a House-The Journal. Read by Denny Sayers, MP3 - 38min
  6. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner: Chapter 6 – ill and Conscience-Stricken. Read by Denny Sayers, MP3 - 43min
  7. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner: Chapter 7 – Agricultural Experience. Read by Denny Sayers, MP3 - 27min
  8. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner: Chapter 8 – Surveys his Position. Read by Denny Sayers, MP3 - 31min
  9. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner: Chapter 9 – A Boat. Read by Denny Sayers, MP3 - 49min
  10. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner: Chapter 10 – Tames Goats. Read by Denny Sayers, MP3 - 33min
  11. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner: Chapter 11 – Finds Print of Man's Foot on the Sand. Read by Denny Sayers, MP3 - 38min
  12. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner: Chapter 12 – A Cave Retreat. Read by Denny Sayers, MP3 - 48min
  13. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner: Chapter 13 – Wreck of a Spanish Ship. Read by Denny Sayers, MP3 - 38min
  14. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner: Chapter 14 – A Dream Realised. Read by Denny Sayers, MP3 - 46min
  15. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner: Chapter 15 – Friday’s Education. Read by Denny Sayers, MP3 - 44min
  16. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner: Chapter 16 – Rescue of Prisoners from Cannibals. Read by Denny Sayers, MP3 - 47min
  17. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner: Chapter 17 – Visit of Mutineers. Read by Denny Sayers, MP3 - 44min
  18. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner: Chapter 18 – The Ship Recovered. Read by Denny Sayers, MP3 - 48min
  19. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner: Chapter 19 – Return to England. Read by Denny Sayers, MP3 - 45min
  20. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner: Chapter 20 – Fight Between Friday and a Bear. Read by Denny Sayers, MP3 - 35min


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"The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe" Audiobook Full - Full Audio Book with synchronized text, interactive transcript, Read by Mark F. Smith ::




Crusoe, newly engaged in slave-trading when he is shipwrecked, never, in his many years of hand-wringing religious rumination, thinks to attribute his calamity to the sin of buying and selling human beings.

Robinson Crusoe, chapter 14 ("A Dreame Realised"), p 121: "At last he lays his head flat upon the ground, close to my foot, and sets my other foot upon his head, as he had done before; and after this made all the signs to me of subjection, servitude, and submission imaginable, to let me know he would serve me as long as he lived...I began to speak to him and teach him to speak to me; and first, I made him know his name should be Friday, which was the day I saved his life;...I likewise taught him to say 'Master,' and then let him know that was to be my name."



Writing in the 22 May 1712 number of his Review, Defoe had this to say about English slaveholders in Barbadoes:

The Negroes are indeed Slaves, and our good People use them like Slaves, or rather like Dogs, but that by the way: he that keeps them in Subjection, whips, and corrects them, in order to make them grind and labour, does Right, for out of their Labour he gains his Wealth: but he that in his Passion and Cruelty, maims, lames, and kills them, is a Fool, for they are his Estate, his Stock, his Wealth, and his Prosperity. (Review, VII, 730)



Defoe adamantly defended the trade in essays, especially the series published in his Review between 1709-13. He considered the slave trade a perfectly respectable business, bought stock himself in two companies engaged in the traffic, thought it indispensable to British colonialism, and most certainly admired the profits to be made from it.





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