One of the first forms of novel was the diary form. Mariners, seamen, traders had to keep accounts of their journey and routes and they kept diaries of everyday actions and events and also of their trades. Novelists took inspiration from this way of writing. One of the most famous example was Robinson Crusoe (1719), by Daniel Defoe. Crusoe is a mariner who shipwrecks (= naufraga) on an island; he has to adapt himself to the new environment (=ambiente) , a difficult life and fights for his survival about twenty years. Not to get mad, he keeps a daily account of what he does and what happens to him, including his meeting with cannibals and with Friday, who becomes his friend. The story is inspired by a fact really happened and reported on the newspapers of the period, the adventure of Captain Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish sailor who spent four years as a castaway (= reietto) when he was marooned on an uninhabited island.
Robinson Crusoe, lacks ( = manca) of psychological introspections. The feelings and ideas of the protagonist only concern his material life, without taking into consideration problems of solitude and abandon. Nevertheless the first person narrator of the diary form permits the author to explain realistically what the characters does and thinks.
Some critics have also seen the first seeds of English colonialism in the description of the meeting between Friday and Robinson: the white man imposes the name on the black man and immediately assumes the position of the master. This position mirrored the mentality of a period in which Britain had the leading role in slave trade(=mercato degli schiavi) and used pirates to improve her (- per Inghilterra si usa il pronome femminile) commerce and trades.