305-page paperback / 5.5" x 8.5" / ISBN 978-1-58988-067-2 / Publication Date: February 2011
"With its humor and its fancy and its wistfulness, [Desert Islands] is such a fountain of youth as no Ponce de Leon ever discovered." —New York Times
"A vast treasure chest . . . to dazzle and fascinate everyone who lifts the lid." —Geoffrey Grigson
"One of those cabinets of curiosities," Michael McKeon writes in his new foreword, Desert Islands is "filled with randomly juxtaposed artifacts and devices rare and wonderful and far-flung, which long ago graced the homes of the Renaissance patriciate and then, in the hands of natural historians, became the model for the modern museum." Join Walter de la Mare as he surveys the world of islands (symbols of man's love of adventure and longing), both fictional and real, romantic and not—along with shipwrecks, castaways, and solitude; pirates, explorers, and treasure; Shakespeare, Swift, Columbus, Darwin, Utopia, England; and particularly (of course), Daniel Defoe and Robinson Crusoe.
"One begins to fall under the spell, by way of Mr. De la Mare's fine sinuous prose and fanciful comments, of those distant places, those buccaneers' islands and remote wave-washed ocean rocks, by which he himself is so strongly fascinated." —Spectator
Walter de la Mare (1873–1956) wrote numerous novels, short stories, essays, and poems. His Memoirs of a Midget, which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, is also available from Paul Dry Books.
Michael McKeon is Board of Governors Professor of English at Rutgers University. He is the author of several books, including The Origins of the English Novel, 1600–1740 and The Secret History of Domesticity.