The early editions of Robinson Crusoe were presented as offering a great variety of delights for prospective readers and purchasers. In Crusoe, the Preface promises that the hero will survive his dangers, through the benignity of Providence, and so the most potent threat is spiritual rather than material. Throughout Crusoe great emphasis is placed on the narrator’s various instabilities, and his use of the idea of Providence is, it seems, simply part of the fabric of his age. Since Defoe’s skills are always designed to simplify rather than to complicate, he finds difficulty with the conflicting narrative demands of his opening. He is required to signal to his readers that the ensuing tale will be of adventure, wherein the hero’s moral state is largely irrelevant. Defoe was incorporating some features of the religious genres, but restricting their significance. They are present because Crusoe’s narrative is compendious, and draws from different genres, not because it really belongs to any one genre.