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The Swiss Family Robinson

Johann David Wyss

Book Overview: 

The Swiss Family Robinson has delighted generations of readers with its exciting tale of a family which, though shipwrecked, displays “the right stuff” and builds a charming colony that later, they do not want to leave. Cut off from the comforts and companionship of other humans, they use a familiarity with natural history and biology to find the resources and build the tools to construct a canoe, weave cloth, irrigate a garden, and turn an immense hollow tree into a lofty house with a spiral staircase. They domesticate buffaloes, wild asses, and monkeys. They establish farms and plantations. And finally, they have a terrifying encounter with natives from a nearby island.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .God. We set out on our pilgrimage, each carrying a game-bag and a gun. My wife and her eldest son led the way, followed by the heavily-laden cow and ass; the third division consisted of the goats, driven by Jack, the little monkey seated on the back of its nurse, and grimacing, to our great amusement; next came Ernest, with the sheep; and I followed, superintending the whole. Our gallant dogs acted as aides-de-camp, and were continually passing from the front to the rear rank.

[pg 061]

Our march was slow, but orderly, and quite patriarchal. "We are now travelling across the deserts, as our first fathers did," said I, "and as the Arabs, Tartars, and other nomade nations do to this day, followed by their flocks and herds. But these people generally have strong camels to bear their burdens, instead of a poor ass and cow. I hope this may be the last of our pilgrimages." My wife also hoped that, once under the shade of her marvellous trees, we should have no t. . . Read More