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The Swiss Family Robinson (Signet Classics) Mass Market Paperback – December 7, 2004
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About the Author
Johann David Wyss (1743–1818) was an army chaplain with four sons; it was to entertain them that he wrote The Swiss Family Robinson. His son Johan Rudolf prepared the manuscript for publication in Zurich in 1812–13. The first English edition was translated by William Godwin in 1814.
J. Hillis Miller taught for many years at Johns Hopkins University and then at Yale University, before going to the University of California at Irvine in 1986, where he is now a UCI Distinguished Research Professor. He is the author of many books and essays on nineteenth- and twentieth-century English, European, and American literature and on literary theory. His books include Others, Speech Acts in Literature, and On Literature, the last of which includes a section on The Swiss Family Robinson.
Literary critic and feminist thinker Elizabeth Janeway is the author of six novels and many works of nonfiction, including Improper Behavior, Powers of the Weak, and Between Myth and Morning.
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As a spoiler, of course, the likelihood of encountering the wide variety of animals at on location and the quick domestication of such is more of the "fantasy island" approach. I hate it growing up. LOL.
This time around it was interesting to see the faith of the parents, their prayer lives; and of course, their constant thankfulness for everyday blessings--like surviving another day. I thought it refreshing to see resourceful individuals solve problems and adapt; but then remember to be thankful. It may seem harsh to some to read of the destruction of some of the "local" predators or animals that cause havoc to crops, etc; but when in "survival" mode, you do what you have to do to help ensure your continued life and those of your family.
Easy read, still allows you to use your imagination, but lacks the character development of our more modern books.
That said, I never read this before, and as with many children's movies and books I'm often wincing through parts of the book when I see what I consider more adult stuff, even though my children don't apparently notice or care if they kill and cook everyone's favorite zoo animals throughout the book. I'm like "Oh look flamingos! We saw those at the zoo the other day... (trail off)... oh they killed and ate it..." Anyhow, obviously with survival on an island there is a substantial amount of killing animals involved and done by kids. I'm not really opposed to this, but phew... different world than now and I'm realizing that if my son had a better attention span, I'd have a lot of questions to answer. I'm looking forward to reading this with him when he's older, better able to understand how different things were, and when we can actually have a discussion about the book.