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Robinson Crusoe, a thrilling magic lantern adventure . . .

By John Humphries, Dec 2011

A Hastings Old Town reader kindly loaned the ‘Voice’ a set of eight ‘Primus’ coloured magic lantern slides which he recently inherited. They were set number 611, ‘Robinson Crusoe’, originally priced at 2/6d, with lecture reading notes;

I  suppose you all the know the story of Robinson Crusoe? You will remember how he ran away from home and went to sea against the advice of his father. It was on his voyage to Guinea that his ship was wrecked on a desert island, where he lived for over 28 years. Crusoe was the only survivor from the wreck, and after scrambling ashore he took refuge in a tree for the night to be out of reach of wild beasts, and next morning found that he could easily swim to the ship, which had been carried by the waves quite near to the shore . . .

Crusoe 1

1 Crusoe on the raft – he got on board and then constructed a raft, and was thus able in the course of several journeys to carry ashore quite a large stock of useful things: bread, rice, dried goats’ flesh, cheese, clothes, tools to work with, guns and powder and shot.

Crusoe 2

2 Milking the goats – one of the first things he discovered was that there were a number of goats on the island. Some of these he caught and in time he had quite a flock. He found them very useful: they supplied him with plenty of milk, he ate their flesh and made clothes from their skins when his own were worn out.

Crusoe 3

3 Dinner time – here you see Crusoe comfortably settled on the island. He is dining in his cave with his family around him, two cats and a dog, which he rescued from the ship; there’s a goat too. All these were dumb creatures it is true, but they were better for poor lonely Crusoe than no company at all.

Crusoe 4

4 Crusoe makes a boat – he cut down a big tree and as you see in the picture, hollowed it out with his adze until he had quite a fine canoe. It was a long and wearisome task. He rigged it out with a sail of goat skin and now was able to take trips round the island to catch fish and turtles.

Crusoe 5

5 Footprint in the sand – Crusoe had been on the island for several years when one day he was very startled to see a footprint in the sand. Soon afterwards he came across the remains of a cannibal feast and for some time he was almost afraid to venture forth for fear of being captured and eaten up.

Crusoe 6

6 Man Friday – one day he saw five canoes with about thirty savages. They had some poor prisoners on whom they were going to feast. One of these escaped pursued by two savages. Crusoe rushed out and knocked down one the pursuers and shot the other. The one Crusoe had rescued was very grateful and became his devoted comrade. He called him Friday, as that was the day he found him.

Crusoe 7

7 Crusoe teaching Friday – one can imagine how delighted Crusoe was in having a companion after all those years of solitude. Crusoe taught him to be a good Christian and with this honest and gentle creature he spent several years very happily.

Crusoe 8

8 Crusoe sees a ship – at length deliverance came and Crusoe was returned to his native land. Friday, of course went with him and they had many more adventures together. To learn about these I can only tell you that you had better read all about them in the splendid book written by Daniel Defoe, The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
. . THE END . .

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