Island lives – One author born, one died, on April 24

Petri Liukkonen in his Author’s Calendar reminds us of two lonesome-island-authors: R.M. Ballantyne (1825-1894, his birthday is 24 April) and Daniel Defoe (Foe – 1660 – 1731, died on this day). Our library is well stocked with Defoe’s Crusoe, and there is one copy of Ballantyne’s Coral Island.

R. M. Ballantyne; Coral Island

Illustration by Dalziel Brothers

For many months after this we continued to live on our island in uninterrupted harmony and happiness. Sometimes we went out afishing in the lagoon, and sometimes went ahunting in the woods, or ascended to the mountain-top, by way of variety, although Peterkin always asserted that we went for the purpose of hailing any ship that might chance to heave in sight. But I am certain that none of us wished to be delivered from our captivity, for we were extremely happy, and Peterkin used to say that as we were very young we should not feel the loss of a year or two.

(from The Coral Island, abridged edition)

The unabridged Edinburgh edition of Coral Island from 1848 with the illustrations of George and Edward Dalziel is offered for online reading at the Project Gutenberg site. Our copy is one of five editions from the children classic’s by Dean & Son; and it is the one in worst condition – fortunately it’s only the binding -, probably gnawed at by one of the dogs back in Th*s childhood.

Daniel Defoe; Robinson Crusoe

Wie unsinnig vor Angst rannte ich aufs geradewohl dahin, da entlud sich mit fürchterlichem Krachen ein feuerspeiender Berg in der Meeresbucht.

(Einen Vulkanausbruch gibt es nur in der deutschen Fassung; hier aus „Robinson“, S. 43)

I plainly saw it was a terrible earthquake, for the ground I stood on shook three times at about eight minutes‘ distance, with three such shocks as would have overturned the strongest building that could be supposed to have stood on the earth; and a great piece of the top of a rock which stood about half a mile from me next the sea fell down with such a terrible noise as I never heard in all my life.

(from: Robinson Crusoe, New York edition, 1983. p. 104)

aus: „Robinson“ Illustration von Alfred Zacharias

Catalogue (by year of edition):

also see: ROBINSON CRUSOE – An Identification Guide for English publishings

Ballatyne in print: beispielsweise by Penguin Books

die deutsche Übersetzung (Karin Isernhagen), Die Koralleninsel, vom Arena Verlag, 1980, nur noch antiquarisch

Robinson Crusoe im deutschen Buchhandel, diverse Übersetzungen

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