THE HERMIT: or, the unparalleled sufferings, and surprizing adventures, of Philip Quarll, and Englishman: who was discovered by Mr. Dorrington, a Bristol merchant, upon an uninhabited island, in the South-Sea; where he lived above fifty years, without any human assistance. Containing I. His Conference with those who found him out; to whom he recites the most material circumstances of his life; as, that he was born in the parish of St. Giles, educated by the charitable contribution of a lady, and put ’prentice to a locksmith. II. How he left his master, and took up with a notorious house-breaker, who was hanged; how, after his escape, he went to sea a cabin-boy, married a famous whore, listed himself a common soldier, turned a singing-master, and married three wives, for which he was tried and condemned, at the Baily. III. How he was pardoned by K. Charles II. turned merchant, and was shipwrecked on a desolate island on the coast of Mexico. With a curious frontispiece. The Fifth Edition.
London: Printed for the Book-sellers, 1790. 272 pages. Engraved frontispiece. Contemporary full sheep, paneled spine with red title label. 12mo. Binding worn and cracked at joints; frontispiece off-set to title; date and cost of book [2d] on endpaper. A very good copy. The Hermit, or The English Hermit, as it was more correctly known, was a highly popular work of fiction throughout the 18th and early nineteenth century, rivaling the popularity of Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, with which it has much in common. While searching for food on a seemingly uninhabited island Edward Dorrington and his crew stumble upon a settlement. They soon discover that the buildings and everything in them belong to a single man who has been living on the island alone, but for the company of a succession of monkeys, for more than fifty years. Dorrington offers to rescue the man from the island, but the hermit declines, and offers the group a fine dinner while he recounts the tale of his adventure-filled life. The book was first published in 1727, but nothing is known of the author.