Robinson Crusoe in Words of One Syllable
Mary Godolphin was the pseudonym of Lucy Aikin who undertook translating great literature into single-syllable words so that young readers could enjoy plots that were considerably more interesting than, say, the McGuffey readers of the 1880’s or the “Dick and Jane” primers of the 1950s (still around today as “decodable readers” in elementary schools). She produced this volume based on Daniel Defoe’s most famous work, considered by many to be the first English novel (1719). She also rendered Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and Wyss’ Swiss Family Robinson, which she translated as well. I’ve recorded this as a complement to my voicing for LibriVox of Robinson Crusoe by Defoe and the companion recording of James Baldwin’s version, Robinson Crusoe Written Anew for Children (actually more for adolescents). So many different versions for a variety of young audiences speaks to the timelessness of Defoe’s original!
- Summary by Denny Sayers
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