View Full Version : Daniel Defoe's Dickory Cronke

04-13-2007, 01:27 AM
I embarked upon the daunting task of hacking my way through this sentence-run-on novel, but found that I couldn't get past half the first part. :(. I believe the main reason for this was Defoe's excessive use of semi-colons and camas in order shove each one of his paragraphs into one whole sentence. Can anyone here tell me if it is just me who finds Dickory Cronke difficult to read and absorb or are the sentence run-ons and---by today's standards---erroneous usage of punctuation two faculties which make this book difficult to read?--Thanks:

An excerpt from the first part:

" When he came to be eight years of age, his mother agreed with a person in the next village, to teach him to read and write, both which, in a very short time, he acquired to such perfection, especially the latter, that he not only taught his own brothers and sisters, but likewise several young men and women in the neighbourhood, which often brought him in small sums, which he always laid out in such necessaries as he stood most in need of.
In this state he continued till he was about twenty, and then he began to reflect how scandalous it was for a young man of his age and circumstances to live idle at home, and so resolves to go with his father to the mines, to try if he could get something towards the support of himself and the family; but being of a tender constitution, and often sick, he soon perceived that sort of business was too hard for him, so was forced to return home and continue in his former station; upon which he grew exceeding melancholy, which his mother observing, she comforted him in the best manner she could, telling him that if it should please God to take her away, she had something left in store for him, which would preserve him against public want"

I know that Defoe was a terrific author (I would never dare compare myself with him) and displayed his incredibly strong knack for immaculate story-telling in Robinson Crusoe (which I incidentally loved at an earlier age), but this Dickory Conke book looks like complete gibberish :(.

04-13-2007, 02:00 PM
no opinions on this at all?