The Swiss Family Robinson

The Swiss Family Robinson

Amazon.com Price: $7.35 (as of 15/06/2021 07:37 PST- Details)

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“The Swiss Family Robinson” by Wyss and Son is a novel, intended to teach Wyss’ four sons about family values, good husbandry, the uses of the natural world and self-reliance. Wyss’ attitude toward education is in line with the teachings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and many of the episodes have to do with Christian-oriented moral lessons such as frugality, husbandry, acceptance, cooperation, etc.

The adventures are presented as a series of lessons in natural history and the physical sciences, and resemble other, similar educational books for children in this period. The novel opens with the family in the hold of a sailing ship, weathering a great storm. The ships’ passengers evacuate without them, and William and Elizabeth Robinson and their four children (Fritz, Ernest, Jack and Francis) are left to survive alone. As the ship tosses about, the father – William – prays that God will spare them.

Johann David Wyss (1743-1818) was a Swiss pastor. Johann Rudolf Wyss (1782-1830) was one of his sons, a writer and folklorist who wrote the former Swiss national anthem: “Rufst Du, mein Vaterland”.

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