Published anonymously, and not attributed to Defoe till 1775, Roxana was nonetheless a popular hit in the eighteenth century, frequently reprinted in altered versions to suit the taste of the day: thus the 1775 edition, which called itself The New Roxana , had been sentimentalised to meet the tastes of the day.  Only gradually from the 19th century onwards did the novel begin to be treated as serious literature: Ethel Wilson has been one of the 20th century authors subsequently influenced by its matter-of-factness and freedom from cant. 
Big (and Pretty Complicated) Issue 4: The role of commerce and imperial expansion. You'll notice that Crusoe is always taking stock of what he's trading and with whom – and how much money he makes from his travels all over the globe. While this might sound kind of boring to us, England was just beginning to expand its trade networks and swap goods all over the world in places like India, Africa, and the Americas. As commercial capitalism boomed, people in England were fascinated by these new exotic goods and the places from which they came. They were also very interested in the people from these different cultures. Take special notice of how people who are not English are depicted in this book. You'll find some pretty striking instances of Eurocentrism here.