logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
European Travel
Action Movies
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel


dailyclick
All times in EST

Low Carb: 8:00 PM

Full Schedule
g
g Scottish Culture Site

BellaOnline's Scottish Culture Editor

g

The Real Robionson Crusoe


Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, published in 1719, tells the story of a man shipwrecked on an island, forced to rely on his own resources for survival. Far less famous than the fictional character is the Scottish man who inspired Defoe’s story – Alexander Selkirk...

Selkirk, seventh son of a shoemaker, was born in Largo – on Fife’s east coast - in 1676. As a young man, in his late teens, he chose to go to sea, a career which seemed to suit his somewhat wild temperament – the local kirk (court) called him to appear twice, the second time due to a family quarrel...

Selkirk’s castaway adventure began in 1704, when on a ship captained by William Dampler. The two men did not see eye to eye – Selkirk believed that Dampler’s management of ship and crew was poor, and therefore asked that the captain let him remain on the uninhabited island of Más a Tierra (sometimes called Aguas Buenas), one of the Juan Fernández islands.

At first the Scot who had exiled himself through his own choice thought rescue would be imminent, but he ended up remaining on the island for over four years. He became very familiar with the book he had with him – the bible. He hunted goats for food, and as his clothes fell apart used goat skins for clothing. During his time there a Spanish ship landed, but the Spaniards believed this wild man to be their enemy and chose to shoot at him rather than ask after his true nature; luckily Selkirk, familiar with his terrain, was able to escape this unexpected danger and the Spaniards left without snaring their quarry.

Rescue eventually came in the form of a British ship, four years and four months after Selkirk was first marooned on his island. Although he did go home to Scotland Selkirk had been forever changed by his solitary existence, and he returned to his first love, the sea; he was working for the Royal Navy when he died of fever in 1720.

Today the island that Selkirk stayed on has been renamed Robinson Crusoe Island. Alexander Selkirk was truly alone, without the companionship that the fictional character gained during his long island stay (in Defoe’s book Crusoe stays on his island for twenty-eight years).

The excellent long running radio programme Desert Island Discs asks famous people to choose music they would take with them if they were to end up on a desert island on their own. They are allowed two books – Shakespeare and the Bible – and one luxury. Thus centuries after Selkirk’s adventures people are still fascinated by the challenge of what really matters, what they would really want to keep, on a tropical island with no other human company.


Robinson Crusoe is a classic of English literature, a bestseller which caught the imagination of the people of the time. I found it interesting to read the book again recently as an adult – it is densely written, but well worth reading should you get the chance.


Add The+Real+Robionson+Crusoe to Twitter Add The+Real+Robionson+Crusoe to Facebook Add The+Real+Robionson+Crusoe to MySpace Add The+Real+Robionson+Crusoe to Del.icio.us Digg The+Real+Robionson+Crusoe Add The+Real+Robionson+Crusoe to Yahoo My Web Add The+Real+Robionson+Crusoe to Google Bookmarks Add The+Real+Robionson+Crusoe to Stumbleupon Add The+Real+Robionson+Crusoe to Reddit



 



Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Ian Rankin
Peter Pan - The Boy Who Never Grew Up
RSS
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map




For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Scottish Culture Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Asha Sahni. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Asha Sahni. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Asha Sahni for details.

g


g features
Sawney Bean

Burke and Hare

Greyfriars Bobby

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor