Tuesday, February 06, 2024

References to Robinson Crusoe in Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, and Jane Austen

While reading Charles Dickens's novels, I was struck by what seemed to me to be the relatively frequent references to Robinson Crusoe (seventeen in all in his fourteen novels, according to the CLiC Dickens concordance). So as I began reading Thomas Hardy's novels, I immediately noticed the appearance of Crusoe in "Desperate Remedies" (1871), when Cytherea Graye is told that her benefactor Miss Aldclyffe is "in her soul [...] as solitary as Robinson Crusoe." A search of my e-book of Hardy's complete novels reveals only nine references to Crusoe in sixteen works. For contrast, another online concordance shows that Jane Austen never refers to Crusoe in any of her six novels. (Andrew Shields, #111Words, 5 February 2024)

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