Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe  is a novel by Daniel Defoe that was first published in 1719. The book is a fictional autobiography of the title character — a castaway who spends 28 years on a remote tropical island near Trinidad, encountering cannibals, captives, and mutineers before being rescued.

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The story was perhaps influenced by Alexander Selkirk, who was born and brought up in Lower Largo. He ended up as a castaway who lived for four years on the Pacific island called “Más a Tierra” (in 1966 its name was changed to Robinson Crusoe Island), Chile. The details of Crusoe’s island were probably based on the Caribbean island of Tobago. It is also likely that Defoe was inspired by the English translations of Ibn Tufail’s earlier novel also set on a desert island.

Although inspired by a real life event, it was the first notable work of literature where the story was independent of mythology, history or legends. There is a statue of ’Robinson Crusoe’ aka Alexander Selkirk in the village on the site of the house where Selkirk was born in 1676.