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Based on the real-life experiences of the castaway Alexander Selkirk, the book has had a perrenial appeal among readers of all ages-—especially the young adult reading public—-who continue to find inspiration in the inventive resourcefulness of its hero, sole survivor of a shipwreck who is marooned on an uninhabited island. If you are not in the USA, please verify the copyright status of these works in your own country before downloading, otherwise you may be violating copyright laws.

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Especially poignant, after more than two decades of unbroken solitude, is the affection that Robinson develops for Friday, another survivor fleeing certain death at the hands of enemy tribesmen from the South American continent. Summary by Denny Sayers. Play Chapter 1 — Start in Life. Chapter 2 — Slavery and Escape.

With surprisingly little turbulence, we finally climb over the city of six million humming past the jagged Andes and across the ocean at 6, feet, just above foamy white clouds. After two hours of hypnotic engine drone, Schaeffer points to a growing gray dot on the horizon. The Chilean government renamed it RobinsonCrusoeIsland in As we bank high above the reddish moonscape on the extreme western promontory of the square-mile island, rugged volcanic mountains are visible in the distance, with seemingly great spots for hiking or diving.

A sailor in the s, however, would have seen nothing but trouble— grim, sheer-faced coves rising 80 feet straight up, and not a sandy beach in sight. San Juan Bautista John the Baptist village pop. San Juan Bautista is part sleepy South Pacific fishing village, part eco-tourism hideaway. Along deeply rutted dirt roads, there are eight or nine summer cabins and basic bed-and-breakfast operations— several hundred tourists came to the village last year—with a few in-home convenience stores, three churches Evangelical, Mormon and Catholic , a leaky gymnasium, a lively school serving first through eighth grade, a city hall, a small Crusoe museum with translations of the novel in Polish and Greek, and an adjoining library with a satellite Internet connection, thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The homes are wooden bungalows for the most part, weathered but neat, with small yards and big leafy palm or fruit trees. Nearly everyone has TV, which consists of two Santiago channels. My guide, Pedro Niada, a witty and well-read fellow who moved here with his wife from Santiago some years ago, estimates that 70 percent of the families still make their living from trapping lobster, but that number is declining.

After a month on the island, the Cinque Ports was stocked with turnips, goats and crayfish, yet no less wormeaten. Stradling ordered the men to set sail and leave CumberlandBay. Selkirk refused and told the men to do the same, believing the ship could never withstand the open sea or the battles the men so craved.

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Stradling mocked his navigator, and that set off Selkirk like he was back in Largo. After a bitter argument, Stradling must have felt he could not back down. Selkirk was put ashore with his bedding, a musket, pistol, gunpowder, hatchet, knife, his navigation tools, a pot for boiling food, two pounds of tobacco, some cheese and jam, a flask of rum and his Bible.

He had made the biggest decision of his life.

Robinson Crusoe Island

No longer just a complainer, he had taken action. But no sooner had he waded into CumberlandBay than he was overwhelmed with regret and fear. He had badly overplayed his hand. Not one of the men had joined him. Selkirk pleaded with Stradling to be allowed back, but the captain was quite enjoying the moment. His unruly men were certainly watching this pathetic show, this hardheaded seaman begging for his life. Stradling wanted the message to sink in deeply with the crew: leave the ship and this will be you. Perhaps feeling more stupid and angry than victimized, Selkirk finally turned his back on the Cinque Ports and resigned himself to waiting for what he thought would be a few days until another friendly ship happened by.

There is no evidence that Selkirk ever kept a diary—he may have been illiterate, though historians disagree—so what we know of his time on the island comes primarily from two sources: his eventual rescuer, Capt. Woodes Rogers, a distinguished English privateer or despised pirate, if you were Spanish who wrote A Cruising Voyage Round the World , about his expedition, and English essayist and playwright Richard Steele, who interviewed Selkirk in for the magazine The Englishman. According to them, Selkirk was so despondent for the first several months that he contemplated suicide—presumably with one of his few bullets—and almost welcomed the gnawing hunger each day because it at least occupied his mind.

In time, he was able to domesticate some feral cats, who served as companions and exterminators. Finding shelter and food on the verdant island was less of a problem than keeping his sanity. What he missed most was bread and salt. Eventually he grew so nimble running barefoot on the steep hills above the bay that he could chase down any goat he wanted.

Selkirk was able to start a fire with pimento wood and his musket flints, and tried to keep it going night and day, but he was careful to hide the flames from Spanish ships; the Spanish were known for torturing their prisoners or turning them into slaves in South American gold mines. He once narrowly escaped a Spanish search party by climbing a tree. To maintain his spirits, the Scottish navigator sang hymns and prayed. At some point, Selkirk apparently embraced life again, and like Thoreau, saw deep new truths about himself revealed through the cleansing simplicity of the demands of survival.

We munched on the same tart red berries that probably sustained Selkirk, waiting for the sky to clear. When the sun broke through, I understood why Selkirk had chosen this spot. He could not only see for miles in every direction, thereby giving himself an hour or two headstart if he needed to evade the Spanish—who tortured and enslaved captives—but he could also sustain his spirits.

George - Cinque Ports voyage. Dampier likely told Selkirk the bittersweet news that he had been all too right about the decrepit Cinque Ports.

Soon after abandoning the Scotsman in the ship sank off the coast of Peru, killing all but Stradling and a dozen or so men, who wound up in Spanish prisons. Rogers helped Selkirk shave and gave him clothes. His rock-hard feet swelled in the constraint of shoes. In recognition of not only his past skill but also perhaps his ordeal, Rogers made him a navigator once again.

Finally, he was headed home. But not immediately. For the better part of two years, he dined out on his adventures, wandering from pub to pub in Bristol and London, telling tales of the South Seas for free meals and a pint. When he finally returned to Lower Largo, he wanted little to do with his relatives. He evidently became something of a loner and resumed his drinking and fighting.


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Published in April when Defoe was 59 and Selkirk 43, Crusoe captivated readers unlike anything in its time and is now considered by many the first true English novel. Laced with politics and social theory, it was part adventure, part Christian allegory, part utopianist attack on British society.

In , after he a huge quarrel with his family, he left Scotland, sailing on a privateer vessel.

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The 100 best novels: No 2 – Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (1719)

The living conditions aboard that ship were poor. As the story goes, the ship lost its captain one day and control was taken over by one Lt.

Robinson Crusoe 1954

Thomas Stradling, with whom Selkirk did not get along so well. Tensions between the two reached a head while the ship was anchored in the shelter of a deserted island in the South Pacific, in The Life and Adventures of Alexander Selkirk, unknown author. When Stradling insisted the crew continue the journey, Selkirk objected. His main argument was that the ship was too weak and would not endure the dangers the ocean might expose them to.

Ironically, he turned out to be right at the end. In the end, Selkirk was refused permission to return aboard the ship — the captain set sail, leaving the man behind with few resources to survive.

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The rescued Selkirk, seated at right, being taken aboard Duke. Selkirk had to cope with the conditions of the island in a similar fashion that Robinson Crusoe did in the novel, before he was saved…four years later. The ship which abandoned him indeed sank, killing almost the entire crew.