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Monarch of all I survey

Alexander Selkirk, the real Robinson Crusoe


he story of real-life castaway Alexander Selkirk is one of the sources for Daniel Defoe’s famous novel, Robinson Crusoe (1719), about an English sailor who is shipwrecked and spends 28 years on a remote desert island in the Caribbean Sea. Selkirk was not shipwrecked, however, but marooned on an island in the Pacific of his own free will. He spent four years alone on an uninhabited island in the Juan Fernández Archipelago, approximately 700 km off the Chilean coast. Selkirk was an adventurer from Scotland who went to sea and in 1704, after a quarrel with his captain, requested that he be put ashore on the uninhabited island of Más a Tierra where he remained until February of 1709, when he was discovered by Captain Rogers of the sailing ship Duke. Selkirk did not return to England until 1711, when he met the essayist, Richard Steele, who wrote up his story in a publication, "The Englishman" (1713). Daniel Defoe made use of this story in his novel Robinson Crusoe. Selkirk went to sea again and died at sea in

Alexander Selkirk

1721, at the age of forty-five. Allan Jardine, born in 1962 in the county of Fife, Scotland, is a direct descendant of Alexander Selkirk’s brother David. In 1983, he visited the island of Juan Fernandez to unveil a plaque in memory of his famous ancestor, and while there serenaded the bemused local villagers with his bagpipes. Until 10 years ago, he was still living in Lower Largo, the village of Selkirk’s birthplace more than 300 years previously. He now lives in Edinburgh where he works at the Edinburgh College of Art. We offer various 18th and 19th century editions (English, French and Dutch) of Defoe’s classic as well as Allan Jardine’s cartoon collection, What’s New Mr. Crusoe?, in the Island Shop on our website,

Allan Jardine, descendant of Alexander Selkirk with Selkirk’s original gun

Isla Robinson Crusoe

Selkirk`s original cave| 79


Island Traveler  

A Selection of Spa, Robinson and Private Islands -worldwide-

Island Traveler  

A Selection of Spa, Robinson and Private Islands -worldwide-