Saturday, January 29, 2022

Robinson Crusoe, Rip Van Winkle, and Charles Dickens

I wrote last year about Charles Dickens's references to Robinson Crusoe. Daniel Defoe's novel "Robinson Crusoe" was published in 1719. By the time Dickens was born in 1812, Crusoe was a cultural reference independent of Defoe's novel. At the beginning of Dickens's 1852 novel "Bleak House", another such reference appears: "Both the world of fashion and the Court of Chancery are things of precedent and usage: oversleeping Rip Van Winkles [...]." Washington Irving's "Rip Van Winkle" was published in 1819, one century after Defoe's novel, when Dickens was seven. For the adult Dickens, Crusoe and Rip Van Winkle were figures "of precedent and usage" available as objects of such passing references. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 29 January 2022)

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