Adult literacy pioneer Mary Godolphin (1723-1764) (w) rewrote many books, including Robinson Crusoe, The Pilgrim’s Progress, and The Swiss Family Robinson, in words of one syllable.
I was born at York on the first of March in the sixth year of the
reign of King Charles the First. From the time when I was quite a
young child, I had felt a great wish to spend my life at sea, and
as I grew, so did this taste grow more and more strong; till at
last I broke loose from my school and home, and found my way on
foot to Hull, where I soon got a place on board a ship.
When we had set sail but a few days, a squall of wind came on,
and on the fifth night we sprang a leak. All hands were sent to
the pumps, but we felt the ship groan in all her planks, and her
beams quake from stem to stern; so that it was soon quite clear
there was no hope for her, and that all we could do was to save