Robinson Crusoe is among the first novels written in English. Thanks to its extraordinary realism and drama, it is easily the longest-enduring work of popular fiction in the language. The story, probably based on the Pacific-island ordeal of castaway Alexander Selkirk, was presented by Daniel Defoe as a true account, and is utterly convincing in its topography, action and character, even 300 years after its first publication. Robinson Crusoe is a true page-turner: Dr Samuel Johnson said it was one of only three books he had read that would have been better for being longer. This new edition includes over thirty illustrations by George Cruikshank specially engraved for the 1831 edition.