In 1704, Alexander Selkirk was voyaging across the South Pacific when, after arguing with the ship's captain, he was put ashore— alone—on an uninhabited island. Equipped with little more than a musket and his wits, Selkirk not only survived in complete solitude for more than four years, but to came to be quite comfortable and happy. After being rescued by a British privateer in 1709, he took a leading role in several dramatic captures of merchant ships. Although he returned to civilization a rich man, he couldn't find a place in society and always longed to return to the paradise of his island.
Selkirk's well-documented adventures so inspired Daniel Defoe that they became the basis for his perennial classic, Robinson Crusoe. In an account that is every bit as fascinating as Defoe's novel, Robert Kraske provides vivid descriptions of Selkirk's days on the island and aboard ship, including details of the violent, bloody, and legally sanctioned pirating that went on in the early 18th century. Author's note, glossary, bibliography, index.