Alexander Selkirk

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Related to Alexander Selkirk: Juan Fernández Islands
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).

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]
References in periodicals archive ?
In 1966, as a tourism promotion strategy, Chile officially changed the names of Mas a Tierra, where Robinson Crusoe was not set, and Mas Afuera, where Alexander Selkirk never lived, to Robinson Crusoe Island and Alexander Selkirk Island, respectively.
The Batchelor, the lead ship with the loot, was towed up the Thames, with its Master Alexander Selkirk in "swanskin waistcoat, blue linen shirt, new breeches and shoes with scarlet laces" taking the salute.
The Whitbread First Novel Award was awarded to Sid Smith, a former dustman, docker and builder, for his book 'Something Like a House', while the Whitbread poetry award went to Selima Hill for 'Bunny' and the biography award to Diana Souhami for 'Selkirk's Island', a biography of Alexander Selkirk.
Defoe probably based part of Crusoe's tale on the real-life experiences of Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish sailor who at his own request was put ashore on an uninhabited island in 1704 after a quarrel with his captain.
The first day of the month marks Robinson Crusoe Day, commemorating the anniversary of the rescue in 1709 of Alexander Selkirk, the marooned sailor who is said to have inspired Daniel Defoe's exciting tale.
1709: The real Robinson Crusoe, Alexander Selkirk, on whom Daniel Defoe based his famous novel, was rescued after five years on the uninhabited Juan Fernandez islands (Man Friday was an invention of Defoe's).
He told how a Scottish sailor, Alexander Selkirk has long been considered a real-life inspiration for Daniel Defoe's character.
It was to become the home, or more aptly, the prison, of Alexander Selkirk for 52 months.
It has always been accepted that Defoe's original inspiration was Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish sailor marooned on Juan Fernandez Island for four long years.
The hero of Daniel Defoe's 18th-century novel was based on the real-life experiences of one Alexander Selkirk.
It was here that Alexander Selkirk, the Scots sailor on whom Crusoe was based, is said to have washed up.