The Real Robinson Crusoe

Nicholas C. Rossis

Everyone has heard of Robinson Crusoe. But how many know the real-life inspiration behind the character?

As Alex Turner explains on Quora, this would be Alexander Selkirk:

Alexander Selkirk. Image: Quora

Selkirk was a Scottish sailor, born in 1676. He was a rather hotheaded man, who tended to look for exciting voyages whenever he could. In the early 1700s, he served in the War of the Spanish Succession, and after gaining valuable experience at sea, in 1704, he joined a British expedition to the South Pacific, just about as far away from Scotland as you can get.

On this voyage in 1704, Selkirk and his crewmates had made it as far as the totally uninhabited Juan Fernandez Islands, an archipelago more than 400 miles off the coast of Chile, when they discovered they needed supplies and fresh water. However, when their ship docked at Juan Fernandez Island, Selkirk realized…

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