Strange Adventures of a German Female Robinson Crusoe (1780)

When first published in 1719, Daniel Defoe’s story of castaway Robinson Crusoe was a runaway success. Many translations and imitations of Robinson Crusoe followed. In fact, the progeny was so great that it became a genre unto itself called, in the plural, “Robinsonades.”

Princeton is the sole library listed in WorldCat, “the world’s largest network of library content,” to own a copy of a 1780 German Robinsonade featuring a heroine whose journey is a search as much for love and romance as it is for wealth. The work is entitled Merkwürdige Begebenheiten einiger deutschen Frauenzimmer, welche auf Reisen, sowohl zu Lande als zu Wasser durch Verheyratungen sehr reich und glücklich worden, und durch Ankauf ansehnlicher Güter sich in Niedersachsen niedergelassen aus eigener Erfahrung niedergeschrieben von Holston und Augusta. The actual names of the authors Holston and Augusta are unknown. At left is the frontispiece of the book. Click on it to see details of dress and scenery. For further information about the genre, see Jeannine Blackwell, “An Island of Her Own: Heroines of the German Robinsonades from 1720 to 1800” in The German Quarterly (1985), 58, 5-26.

Call number for the book: (Ex) 3459.68.363

0 thoughts on “Strange Adventures of a German Female Robinson Crusoe (1780)

  1. Dear Sirs,
    In 1728 in London a diary was published titled ‘An authentick relation of the many hardships and sufferings of a dutch sailor, who was put on shore on the uninhabited Isle of Ascencion, by order of the commander of a squadron of Dutch ships’. A copy can be found in the Amsterdam Maritime Museum, and Dutch investigator Michiel Koolbergen supposes that the story was translated into English by mr. Defoe himself.