The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner BBC Audio Drama 1998

First Broadcast 10/05/1998 and is directed by Steve Chambers and stars Roy Marsden, Tom Bevan and Lloyd Notice

Ok, so The Life and Strange surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner was published in 1719 long before the Victorian BUT was seen to be a classic and much enjoyed by our Victorian forebears! (therefore it get’s included)

Written by Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe was one for more than 500 novels. Foe as he was before changing his name was a journalist, and pamphleteer but gained his fame for Robinson Crusoe which I rather enjoyed.

Crusoe sets sail on a sea voyage in August 1651 much against the wishes of his parents who like most sensible parents want him to stay at home and study for a career in law.

His journey comes a quick end that sees his ship wrecked in a storm but foolishly sets out to sea again and this journey also ends in disaster as the ship is taken over pirates and Crusoe ends up in slavery. However he manages to escape after a couple of years and is picked by a ship that is en route to Brazil and there he makes and loses his fortune.

But it is an expedition to illegally bring slaves from Africa in which he is shipwrecked on an island near the mouth of the Orinoco river on September 30, 1659 and he is the only survivor.

Being a practical chap he fetches arms, tools and other supplies from the ship before it breaks apart and sinks and builds a fenced-in ‘castle’ near a cave which he excavates himself.

He hunts and eats off the land, raises goats and also adopts a small parrot. He takes to reading the Bible and becomes religious thanking God for his fate in which nothing is missing but human society.

Some years later he discovers that cannibals use his island to kill and eat prisoners. He manages to help one of the potential feasts to escape and this is of course ‘Friday’ who he teaches English and converts him to Christianity.

Soon an English ship appears but there has been a mutiny and they intend to maroon their former captain on the island. Crusoe and the ship’s captain make a deal.Crusoe and the Captain retake the ship and leave the mutineers on the Island after showing them how to fend for themselves…it saves them from being hung.

And off Robinson Crusoe sails back to England with his friend and trusted servant Friday.