The Whole Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner
de Beer Eb 1785 D
London: Printed at the Logographic Press, and sold by J. Walter, Printing-House Square, Black-Friars
Lucky happenstance had John Walter (1739-1812), a coal merchant, an underwriter for Lloyds of London, and bankrupt, purchasing the patent for ‘logography’ from one Henry Johnson. Logography was a new form of type-setting that was supposedly faster and more accurate than conventional type-setting because it allowed more than one letter – sometimes whole words and short phrases – to be set at a time. By May 1784 Walter was in business, printing some 40 titles by this process, including this edition of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1785). Logography was not a success. The exercise did, however, lead him to establish The Daily Universal Register, which was re-launched on 1 January 1788 as The Times. This Crusoe volume (one of two) is not only a fine example of an innovative printing process, but it adds greatly to the 18th century materials already in Special Collections.
Daniel Defoe, “The Whole Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner,” ourheritage.ac.nz | OUR Heritage, accessed February 9, 2023, https://otago.ourheritage.ac.nz/items/show/8352.