Small 8°, X,  title, 332 pp. with interleaved 4 originally coloured copper engravings, modern green paper binding with old title pasted on the spine (Very Good, slightly stained and water stained, professionally restored, a tiny hole (paper mistake) in pp. 205-206).
This very rare edition of Robinson’s travels to America in German language was published in Nuremberg in 1816 by the Friedrich Campe. It is the second volume of four and describes Robinson’s travels from Mississippi, Philadelphia, Canada, through the Prince of Wales Fort to Greenland, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Guyana, Brazil, to Buenos Aires. The travel describe customs, local stories, flora and fauna. The book is accompanied by highly decorative originally coloured illustrations.
The complete series of the four book is practically unobtainable. The whole series counted 4 books, published between 1914 and 1922: America in 1914 (1st part) and 1916 (2nd part), followed by Australia and South Asia, and South Asia and Africa in 1922.
We could only trace scarce separate examples of different volumes (circa 8) in institutions worldwide. The four volumes together only seem to appear in electronic form (OCLC 609282841).
The story of Robinson Crusoe was based on a real life experience by a sailor Alexander Selkirk, who was marooned on Juan Fernández Island (today Robinson Crusoe Island ) for over four years, between 1704-1709. Upon his return a book based on his life was published with a title Fame of having lived four Years and four Months alone on the Island of Juan Fernandez, which inspired Daniel Defoe (circa 1660-1731) to write The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un-inhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself. With An Account how he was at last as strangely deliver’d by Pyrates.
This first edition of Robinson Crusoe was supposed to be only an unimportant entertaining book. It was Defoe’s 412th publication and he wrote it, because he needed money for his daughter’s wedding. It was published anonymously on April 25, 1719, and war republished in on May 9, June 4, August 7 etc without definitive manuscript.
The book was a major success and soon many different variations of text with various names and stories appeared in different languages. The stories varied from entertaining and educational to moralising.
The word Robinsonade was first invented by German writer Johann Gottfried Schnabel in the Preface of his 1731 work Die Insel Felsenburg (The Island Stronghold).
We would not trace any other examples from the series in the auction records for the past two generations. The book is also not mentioned in the bibliography on the Robisonades by Ullrich in 1898.
References: Joseph Sabin, Bibliotheca Americana: A Dictionary of Books Relating to America …, Vol. 3, 1870, 272; Susanne Zantop, Kolonialphantasien im vorkolonialen Deutschland (1770-1870), 1999, p. 303; Heidelbergische Jahrbücher der Literatur, 1816, p. 57; Allgemeine Zeitung München: 1816, p. 223; Diana Souhami, Selkirk’s Island, 2002.