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HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'It happen'd one Day about Noon going towards my Boat, I was exceedingly surpriz'd with the Print of a Man's naked Foot on the Shore.' Shipwrecked in a storm at sea, Robinson Crusoe is washed up on a remote and desolate island. As he struggles to piece together a life for himself, Crusoe's physical, moral and spiritual values are tested to the limit. For 24 years he remains in solitude and learns to tame and master the island, until he finally comes across another human being. Considered a classic literary masterpiece, and frequently interpreted as a comment on the British Imperialist approach at the time, Defoe's fable was and still is revered as the very first English novel.
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Daniel Defoe was born at the beginning of a period of history known as the English Restoration, so-named because it was when King Charles II restored the monarchy to England following the English Civil War and the brief dictatorship of Oliver Cromwell. Defoe's contemporaries included Isaac Newton and Samuel Pepys.