“For many days we had been tempest-tossed…the raging storm increased in fury until on the seventh day all hope was lost.”
From these dire opening lines, a timeless story of adventure begins. One family will emerge alive from this terrible storm: the Robinsons—a Swiss pastor, his wife, and four sons, plus two dogs and a shipload of livestock. Inspired by Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, this heartwarming tale portrays a family’s struggle to create a new life on a strange and fantastic tropical island. There each boy must learn to utilize his own unique nature as their adventures lead to difficult challenges and amazing discoveries, including a puzzling message tied to an albatross’s leg. But it is in the ingenuity and authenticity of the family itself, and the natural wonders of this exotic land that have made The Swiss Family Robinson, first published at the beginning of the nineteenth century, one of the most enduring and imitated stories of shipwreck and survival.
From the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Johann David Wyss (1743-1818) was, like the narrator of his famous story of survival on an uninhabited island, a Swiss pastor who had four sons. It was to entertain and instruct these children that he devised the idea of the island and its plethora of natural resources, but the writing of Der schweizerische Robinson is said to have been the responsibility of one of the sons, Johann Rudolf (1782-1830). First published in 1812, it was first translated into English two years later. Since then its translators have been many and they have freely adapted and expanded the original German text, making it one of the most popular novels of all time. Louis John Rhead (1857-1926), an American artist, was born in England. He illustrated many classics of children's literature, including Gulliver's Travels (1913), Grimms' Fairy Tales (1917) and Stevenson's Kidnapped (1921), all for the firm of Harper in New York. His illustrations for The Swiss Family Robinson, 'done from sketches made in the tropics', were first published in 1909.