When the ship's crew evacuate without them, the Robinson family are left to survive a great storm alone. The ship survives the night, and the family soon find themselves on a tropical desert island. The book covers more than ten years with the Robinson's exploring various environments and building homes and gardens in various sites about the island. Throughout their adventures the Robinson's wonder if they will ever again rejoin the rest of humanity.
The Swiss Family Robinson was intended to teach Johann David Wyss' four sons about family values, good husbandry, the uses of the natural world, and self-reliance. Wyss presents adventures as lessons in natural history and physical science. Wyss' attitude toward education is in line with the teachings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and many chapters involve Christian-oriented moral lessons such as frugality, husbandry, acceptance, and cooperation.
This cloth-bound book includes a Victorian inspired dust-jacket, and is limited to 100 copies.