Mr. Robinson, an intelligent, resourceful Swiss who, with his family, is shipwrecked on an island near New Guinea. He represents many middle-class virtues and beliefs, including a strong religious sentiment. Because of his good sense, practical knowledge, and understanding of human nature, he and his family succeed in establishing themselves on the island with European-type civilization. When a ship calls at the island, Mr. Robinson decides to remain, hoping that commerce will come and that his little colony will grow and prosper.
Mrs. Robinson, an intelligent, brave, and hardworking woman who is in her way as resourceful as her husband. She improvises a great deal in making her family comfortable and happy. Her tasks are housekeeping and care of the crops and animals. Like her husband, she chooses to remain on the island.
Fritz Robinson, the oldest of the Robinson boys. He grows up on the island to become a gentlemanly, courageous young man. He learns how to accept responsibility and to carry out difficult tasks requiring initiative and courage. Unlike his father, he wants to return to Europe and does so when the opportunity comes.
Emily Montrose, a young English girl shipwrecked on the island. She is rescued by Fritz, who brings her to his family’s settlement. Emily is the daughter of an English army officer and is on her way home from India. She and Fritz fall in love and plan to marry upon their return to Europe.
Ernest Robinson, the second of the Robinson boys. He has a great interest in natural history, and his previous studies help the family very much, for he is able to identify plants and animals for various purposes.
Jack Robinson, the third of the Robinson children. He contributes to the family’s welfare by helping his mother tend the animals and crops.
Francis Robinson, the youngest of the Robinson children. He is the pet of the rest of the family and thoroughly enjoys his childhood on the island.