Alexander Selkirk

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Alexander Selkirk
BirthplaceLower Largo, Fife, Scotland
NationalityScottish and British (after 1707)
Known for Inspiring Robinson Crusoe

Selkirk, Alexander

(sĕl`kərk), 1676–1721, Scottish sailor whose adventures suggested to Daniel Defoe the story of Robinson Crusoe (1719). In 1704, as a sailing master, Selkirk quarreled with the captain of his ship in the Juan FernándezJuan Fernández
, group of small islands, S Pacific, c.400 mi (640 km) W of Valparaiso, Chile. They belong to Chile and are constitutionally a special territory; they are administered as a part of Valparaiso prov.
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 islands and asked to be put ashore. He remained on Más a Tierra Island for four years and four months before he was rescued (Feb., 1709) by an English privateer.


See J. Howell, The Life and Adventures of Alexander Selkirk (1829).

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Selkirk, Alexander

real-life prototype of Robinson Crusoe. [Br. Hist.: EB, IX: 45]

Selkirk, Alexander

(1676–1721) marooned on Pacific island; thought to be prototype of Robinson Crusoe. [Scot. Hist.: EB, IX: 45]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.