In 1704 Alexander
Selkirk was marooned on Juan Fernández Island 414 off the coast of
South America due west of Santiago, Chile. He lived there alone until
1709 when he was rescued by Captain Woodes Rogers, whose pilot was
William Dampier, the privateer with whom Selkirk had quarreled before
he was put ashore on Juan Fernández.
After his return to England in 1711 his story was
written up in an essay by Richard Steele, “The Englishman,” 1713.
Daniel Defoe based his novel, The Life and Strange Surprizing
Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and
Twenty Years, all alone on an uninhabited Island on the Coast of
America, near the Mouth of the great River of Oroonoque; Having been
cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself.
With an Account how he was at last as strangely deliver’d by Pyrates,
1719, on Steele’s essay.