Defoe published the first part of the story on 25 April 1719; a second edition came out on 9 May, and the third and fourth editions followed on 4 June and 7 August. In Hutchins' first issue (of two) of the third edition, the tailpiece depicts a lion instead of a phoenix. In the inferior sequel, Farther Adventures (20 August 1719), Defoe has Crusoe and Friday return to the island. In the original Stothard narrative-pictorial sequence, he composed nine plates for volume 1, and seven for volume 2. Prior to the nineteenth century, British publishers tended to use illustrations as a "value-added" feature only after a novel had achieved commercial success — hence, the first edition had no illustrations.

Of the early illustrated editions, Stothard's program of illustration in James Harrison's 1782 edition (re-printed several times, with additions, including John Stockdale's 1790 edition) was the second of eight such illustrated editions. However, the first three were but slightly illustrated in a chapbook idiom, and only the fourth (1805) had a full program of illustration (eleven in total). The most commonly reproduced illustrations from the nineteenth century are the one hundred and twenty lithographs by Wal Paget (London: Cassell, 1891).

[1.] 1736. The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe . . . Written by Himself. The Eighth Edition, Adorn'd with Cuts. London: Printed for T. Woodward.

Six illustrations from Vol. II only. Only one plate in this edition is attributed: "Robinson Crusoe Shipwreckt at Yarmouth. Vol. I. Page 13. Clark &c Sc." Early editions of Crusoe were often illustrated cheaply and printed without acknowledging the artist(s) involved in production.

[2.] 1790. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, enriched with elegant plates descriptive of the subject. 2 vol. London: William Lane. Illustrations by Charles Ansell, engraving by Inigo (?) Barlow.

Eight plates, four for each volume. Ansell placed Crusoe in a "gentle woodland setting" and illustrated the novel's peaceful scenes, deemphasizing its violence (Blewett 62).

[3.] 1793. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, embellished with Engravings. London: C. Cooke.

This edition was initially printed in 1793, but the plates present in Penn’s set are dated 1797-1800 and are therefore probably from the 1797 reprint. Illustrations by R. Corbould and Thomas Kirk, engravings by C. Warren and W. Hawkins, ornamentation by R. Satchwell. Five illustrations plus a portrait of Defoe.

[4.] 1805. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Originally Written by Daniel Defoe, Revised for the Use of Young Persons, and Illustrated with Sixteen Copper Plates. London: Tabart & Co.

Poole is given as the illustrator on several of the images. The title page to this edition . . . advertised that readers had the choice to pay extra for colored plates. The plates present here are uncolored.

[5.] 1812. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe . . . Written by Himself. Illustrated with Elegant Engravings, from Original Designs. London: Albion Press, printed for J. and J. Cundee.

Images designed by T. or possibly J. Stanley; engraving by T. West, W. Radcliffe, J. Davy, J. Dean, and Lane.

[6.] 1816 Johann D. Wyss. London: Printed for M. J. Godwin & Co., 1816. Two volumes, illustrated with engraved frontispiece at front of first volume, folding map at front of second, five plates. xxiv, 346 pp.

[7.] 1817. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. . . Two volumes in one. London: Printed by W. Clowes, for Thomas Kelly.

Five plates. Each plate clearly reads "London, Published by Thomas Kelly, Paternoster Row, 1834," but none contains an artist's or engraver's signature. This edition, initially published in 1817, was reprinted in 1822, 1833, 1837 and 1844; the 1834 date given on the present plates suggests that they are from the 1833 reprint.

[8.] 1820. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. Embellished with Engravings from Designs by Thomas Stothard, Esq. R. A. In Two Volumes. London: printed for T. Cadell and W. Davies.

Designs by Thomas Stothard, engraving by C. Heath; 20 full-page illustrations, plus 2 title-page vignettes. Penn's volumes contain two sets of these illustrations: one set fully titled and printed by B. McQueen, and a second set without titles and without a printer's attribution. Inexplicably, there is sometimes only one copy of an illustration. Stothard illustrated Crusoe several times: an inconsistent set for James Harrison's 1782 edition, then a more comprehensive set for John Stockdale's 1790 edition. He added five plates to the second group of illustrations for this edition. In his later illustrations, Stothard deemphasized Crusoe's solitary life on the island in favor of the communal aspects of the novel, also presenting Crusoe's story as a "progress" in the tradition of William Hogarth’s work and The Pilgrim's Progress (Blewett 49). Lovett calls the Cadell & Davies edition of 1820 "one of the most elegant and handsome ever done" (72).

[9.] [1831]. The Life and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe . . . illustrated with numerous engravings from drawings by George Cruikshank. London: John Major.

Engraving by John Jackson, Thomas Williams, Samuel Williams, Mary Ann Williams and Samuel Machlin Slader. . . . in Major's edition the plates are interspersed throughout the text. . . . Illustrations of Robinson Crusoe were often reused in later editions; the exact provenance of these plates is unclear.

[10.] 1831. The Life and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe

. Illustrated with forty-six characteristic wood engravings finely executed from drawings by Harvey. London: Baldwin & Cradock. Illustrations by William Harvey, woodcuts by John Orrin Smith and John Jackson. . . .

[11.] 1835. Aventures de Robinson Crusoé . . . ornées de 52 gravures sur acier, d'après les dessins de M. de Sainson. Paris: Moutardier. Illustrations by Louis-Auguste de Sainson, engraving by L. Chailloy, Lise, Morinet and Boilly. 40 of the advertised 52 illustrations, plus an illustrated title page for both Vol. I and Vol. II. Each of de Sainson's full-page illustrations carries a decorative border. Apparently de Sainson was chosen by the publishers for his life experience: as an illustrator for government-sponsored scientific voyages, he had been to the places Crusoe travels. Attention to geographic detail became increasingly important in Crusoe illustration in the 1830's (Blewett 76).

[12.] 1843. Aventures de Robinson Crusoé . . . avec 20 Grand Dessins par Bouchot, Gravés Par Trichon, Bertrand et Poujet. Paris: Lehuby.

Illustrated by Frédéric Bouchot, engraved by Auguste Trichon, Antoine Bertrand and Pouget. . . .

[13.] 1846. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. Illustrated by Phiz. London: G. Routledge.

Illustrated by Phiz (i. e., Hablot Knight Browne), engraved by Edward Evans. . . . Phiz's illustrations of Crusoe are often "cruelly comic," and while he may have been working from Cruikshank's illustrations instead of the text itself, his illustrations highlight Crusoe's anger, an emotion often ignored by other illustrators of the novel.

[14.] 1850? The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe, with a memoir of the author. Embellished with three hundred engravings, after designs by J.J. Grandville. London: Willoughby & Co.; Glasgow: R. Griffin & Co.; Edinburgh: T. Nelson. Grandville's illustrations were initially published in 1840 by H. Fournier ainé, Paris; George Dorrington copied Grandville’s woodcuts for this edition, printed circa 1850. Present here are 66 of the advertised 300 engravings, two of them versions of Grandville's frontispiece, which depicts a monument to Crusoe. This edition represents the earliest example present in Penn's volumes of the trend (developed in the 1850s and 60s) to illustrate Crusoe so heavily that the story could be grasped without reading the text. The compiler of Penn's volumes sometimes included these illustrations out of their given order, as when he used Grandville's depiction of Crusoe's fellow crew members praying for their lives on his first voyage to depict the French sailors' joy at being rescued from their burning ship in Vol. II (II. i. 226). Blewett calls Grandville's Crusoe "an escapist fantasy, a celebration of solitary innocence and the pleasures of the simple tasks of life in a wonderfully lush and remote tropical setting" (82). Dorrington's copies are mediocre at best.

[15.] 1853. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. London and Edinburgh: T. Nelson & Sons. Illustrations by Sir John Gilbert, engraving by John Jackson.

The present copy has only two plates from this edition (Samuel Adenay also served as an engraver for the Nelson edition, but both of the plates present contain Jackson's signature). Gilbert's illustration of Crusoe and his parrot is also present; engraved by W. Measom, it served as the frontispiece to Darton & Co.'s mid-1840's edition of Crusoe. Darton & Co.'s edition does not include the other Gilbert plates present in Penn's volumes and this illustration of Crusoe and his parrot is the only image from Darton & Co.'s edition present; it is unclear why the compiler chose to include this single plate from Darton & Co.'s edition.

[16.] 1862. The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Illustrated by separate coloured and tinted plates, and woodcuts inserted in the text . . . . London: Bickers & Bush.

Also printed by S.O. Beaton, London. Present here are 28 of Thomas Henry Nicholson's woodcuts for this edition, engraved by Charles William Sheeres. None of the colored plates, designed by Richard Hutulla and Henry Anelay and printed by William Dickes, are present.

[17.] 1863-64. The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, with upwards of one hundred illustrations. London: Cassell, Petter & Galpin.

88 of the approximately 100 illustrations, plus a portrait of Defoe, are present here. This edition was initially printed serially as part of "Cassell's Family Library." A group of artists and engravers worked together to create the illustrations, leading Blewett to call it the "least satisfying" of the heavily illustrated editions due to its lack of "harmony and unity of vision" (103). Illustrators included Percy William Justyne, Richard Principal Leitch, Thomas R. Macquoid, Matt Somerville Morgan, J. Abbott Pasquier, George Housman Thomas, and possibly Harrison W. Weir, whose name does not appear on any of the plates; engravers included the London firm Butterworth and Heath, Thomas Bolton, Thomas Cobb, James Davis Cooper, William J. Linton, Richard S. Marriott, William Jenks Morgan, George Pearson, William Luson Thomas, and Frederick Wentworth. Because so many were involved in the production, it is often hard to tell who contributed to each plate; where attributions are clear they are noted in the finding aid. Thomas R. Macquoid designed borders for each page in this edition, including text-only pages; Blewett calls the borders a "last flowering of literary romanticism in book illustration." A note appears in the finding aid for images whose borders were trimmed by the compiler to make them fit into these volumes.

[18.] 1869. The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, . . . Illustrations by Ernest Griset. London: John Camden Hotten.

Griset designed both full-page plates and inter-textual vignettes for this edition: present here are 59 of the small illustrations and 17 of the 22 full-page plates. Griset created fewer illustrations for the second volume of Crusoe than he did for the first, but Penn's set also contains fewer of Griset's illustrations for Vol. II than Vol. I. The person who compiled Penn's set tended to use Griset’s illustrations out of order: for example, using "The Consternation of the Savages upon Feeling Musket Shots" to depict a scene with the natives in Vol. II, though Griset intended the illustration for the first volume. Where Griset's order has been significantly altered, a note appears in the finding aid. Griset used dark plate technique (a system for darkening the shaded areas of a plate with cross-hatching) to highlight the dark aspects of Crusoe's life on the island, capturing its "sinister atmosphere" (Blewett 118). While some illustrated editions of the novel depict Crusoe as a hero in full command of his surroundings, "Griset is aware of the psychological element in Crusoe's eerie existence, totally alone, puny, vulnerable, and overwhelmed by the natural world around him" (Blewett 119).

[19.] The Life And Adventures Of Robinson Crusoe Of York Mariner. London and Edinburgh: Gall & Inglis, 1870.

[20.] 1871. The Household Robinson Crusoe. . .The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Illustrated with upwards of seventy engravings by Keeley Halswelle . . . . London: T. Nelson & Sons.

Blewett lists George A. Morison as the engraver, and many of the plates are indeed signed GAM, but several of the plates in Penn's copy are signed by one Williamson or by J. M. Corner. Blewett explains that Halswelle signed his name as designer to plates actually designed by John Gilbert and Corner, who illustrated an edition of Crusoe for Sheldon & Co. of New York in 1860. But the illustration of Crusoe and his parrot at I. ii. 165 has the initials KH in the bottom left corner and the attribution "J. M. Corner, Sc." (Sc. for sculpsit, an engraver's attribution) in the bottom right corner; it seems unlikely that if someone besides Corner created the engraving he would attribute his work to the man from whom the illustration was taken. This edition was reissued in 1873, 1875, 1876, and sometime in the 1880's; perhaps the plates attributed to Williamson and Corner are from a reissue for which some of the plates were re-engraved (though it is also strange to imagine Corner helping to engrave plates for an edition that pirated his work). Blewett finds Halswelle's designs "insensitive," noting that Halswelle seems to have used as his referent other illustrations and not the text. 30 of the advertised 70 illustrations are present here. [PACSCL Finding Aids]

[21] The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe​ of York, Mariner​. ​London: ​Marcus Ward & Co, ​1876.

[22] The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York. Illustrated by Johann Baptist Zwecker. London: James Blackwood, 1880.

[23] The Life and Strange Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. With 100 illustrations by Ernest Griset. London: Frederick Warne & Co., 1880.

[24] The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. With Biographical Memoir and Illustrative Notes. Two Volumes. With Eight Etchings by M. Mouilleron and a portrait by L. Flameng. London: J. C. Nimmo and Bain, 1882.

[25] Robinson Crusoe: his life and adventures. With 48 chromolithographs after watercolour drawings by Carl Marr. London: SPCK, 1886.

[26] The Life and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. With 103 illustrations by Gordon Browne. New York: Thomas B. Whittaker, 1887.

[27] The Life And Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner With an Introductory Memoir of Daniel De Foe, A Memoir of Alexander Selkirk, an Account of Peter Serrano, and Other Interesting Additions​. ​ With upwards of seventy engravings by Keeley Halswelle. ​London, New York, Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson and Sons,​ 1890.

[28] The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. With 120 illustrations by Walter Paget London: Cassell & Company, 1891.

[29] The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe​. London: George Routledge & Sons, 1891.

[30] The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. With 20 illustrations by P. Kauffmann. London: T. Fisher Unwin,1890.

[31] The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. With 20 illustrations by Kauffman. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1891.

[32] The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York Mariner as Related by Himself. With six chromolithograph colour plates and 80 other b/w illustrations. London: Ernest Nister, 1895.

[33] The Life & Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner. Illustrated by John Butler and John B. Yeats. London: J. M. Dent, 1895.

Related material

Last modified 12 January 2018