Claire Harman

Island Records

Crusoe: Daniel Defoe, Robert Knox and the Creation of a Myth

By

Bodley Head 368pp £20 order from our bookshop

In the summer of 1660, an East Indiaman called the Anne, under Captain Robert Knox, was damaged in a storm in the Indian Ocean and forced to berth for repairs at Trincomalee in Ceylon. It wasn’t the best choice of port. The Dutch had abandoned their fort there and the territory was in the control of the king of Kandy, who promptly sent an armed force to take the ‘outlandish’ Britishers prisoner. 

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • If you want ideas about what to read next, sign up to our free email newsletter, and get book reviews, archive mate… ,
    • 'The heroic male nude could not, I think, be used today to signify civic pride and glory', as Michelangelo’s 'David… ,
    • 'Munch’s later works show us a man liberated from the torments that gave rise to some of the best-known early works… ,
    • 'We read from left to right and from start to finish. Or do we?' Stuart Hannabus considers the merits of reading i… ,
    • Domestic scandal, sexual abuse and serial killers are on the menu in April's crime round-up. revie… ,
    • What did Samuel Johnson, Joshua Reynolds, James Boswell and Edmund Burke all have in common? Clare Bucknell reveal… ,
    • 'Behind Berlusconi’s greasepaint and his rictus grin, the performance of Toni Servillo suggests the affectless holl… ,