Priory Classics: Swiss Family Robinson: Series Two (Priory classics - series two)

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9780710502186: Priory Classics: Swiss Family Robinson: Series Two (Priory classics - series two)

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About The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss

The Swiss Family Robinson (German: Der Schweizerische Robinson) is a novel by Johann David Wyss, first published in 1812, about a Swiss family shipwrecked in the East Indies en route to Port Jackson, Australia.Written by Swiss pastor Johann David Wyss and edited by his son Johann Rudolf Wyss and illustrated by his son Johann Emmanuel Wyss, the novel was intended to teach his four sons about family values, good husbandry, the uses of the natural world and self-reliance. Wyss' attitude toward education is in line with the teachings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and many of the episodes have to do with Christian-oriented moral lessons such as frugality, husbandry, acceptance, cooperation, etc. The adventures are presented as a series of lessons in natural history and the physical sciences, and resemble other, similar educational books for children in this period, such as Charlotte Turner Smith's Rural Walks: in Dialogues intended for the use of Young Persons (1795), Rambles Further: A continuation of Rural Walks (1796), A Natural History of Birds, intended chiefly for young persons (1807). But the novel differs in that it is modeled on Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, a genuine adventure story,[1] and presents a geographically impossible array of large mammals (including tigers, brown bears, leopards, jackals, hyenas, cheetahs, wolves, moose, lions, rhinos, hippos, walruses, elephants, giraffes, monkeys, zebras, and onagers). and plants (including the bamboos, cassavas, cinnamon trees, coconut palm trees, fir trees, flax, Myrica cerifera, rice, rubber plant potatoes, sago palms, and an entirely fictitious kind of sugarcane) that probably could never have existed together on a single island for the children's education, nourishment, clothing and convenience.

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From the Publisher:

"For many days we had been tempest-tossed . . .the raging storm increased in fury on the seventh day all hope was lost." From these dire opening lines, a delightful story of adventure begins. One family will emerge alive from this terrible storm: the Robinson's -- a Swiss pastor, his wife, and four sons, plus two dogs and a shipload of livestock, hens, pigeons and geese! Inspired by Daniel Defoe's "Robinson Cruesoe," this heartwarming tale portrays a family's struggle to create a new life for themselves on a strange and fantastic tropical island. There each boy must learn to control his own nature -- such as Ernest's bookishness and Fritz's hot temper -- as their adventures lead to amazing discoveries, danger, and tantalizing surprises, including a puzzling message tied to an albatross's leg. But it is the authenticity of the boys' behavior, the ingenuity of the family, and the natural wonders of this exotic land that have made The Swiss Family Robinson, first published in 1812-1813, one of the world's best-loved and most enduring stories of shipwreck and survival.

About the Author:

Johann David Wyss (1743-1818) was a clergyman in Berne, Switzerland. A former military chaplain, Wyss spoke four languages, loved nature, and was deeply involved in the raising of his four boys, reading to them and taking them on hikes and hunting trips. To teach them moral lessons and entertain them, he read them a story he had written about a family just like theirs (each boy in the story is based on one of Wyss’s four sons), who had been shipwrecked on a tropical island. This handwritten manuscript was more than eight hundred pages long and one of his sons, Johann Emmanuel, helped him illustrate it. Years later another son, Johann Rudolf, by then a professor at the Berne Academy, found his fathers manuscript, edited it, and published it in 1812-1813 as The Swiss Family Robinson. The first English translation appeared in 1814, and there have since been nearly two hundred versions of this novel, as well as two films and a television movie.

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