My name is Jonene Ficklin, and I'm a full-time wife, mom, writer, and professional artist. I've been drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I use colored pencils, oil paints, and watercolors. I love what I do!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Real Robinson Crusoe Was a What?

Did you know that Robinson Crusoe, written by Daniel Defoe, was based on an actual person and a real island?

What is fascinating is the real Robinson Crusoe was a PIRATE. Really. His name was Alexander Selkirk, and he was castaway in 1704 on the San Juan Islands just 400 miles west of Chile. (It's also called Robinson Crusoe Island now.)

And it isn't ugly.

And it's fairly descent sized. And it does have goats. But for Alexander, there was no reformed-cannibal 'my man Friday' to befriend and help him. He was on his own.

Other than falling off a cliff - which he did, the greatest danger Alexander faced was getting caught by people who'd turn him in for being a pirate. He hid from two Spanish boats that landed. Eventually, after four and a half very lonely years, he managed to escape on a privateering boat.

So now we know the real story. I see why it  inspired Daniel Defoe to write his book. Makes me want to visit this island . . . or write a pirate book of my own. Hm. Sounds kind of fun.

If you'd like to read the extended wikipedia vesion of Alexander's story, click here:


  1. A pirate books sounds like a great plan. You should do it. ;) ;)

  2. Leisha, I'm feeling mighty inspired right now. Think I will!

  3. That's so cool! Definitely puts me in a pirate mood too. :)

  4. Shallee, thanks for visiting! Islands and pirates sure are fun to research.

  5. There are not enough pirates in literature. This could be the next big thing! Go with it!

    Also, I had no idea about the background of Robinson Crusoe. Thanks for educating me!

  6. Lydia, you're welcome. I read Robinson Crusoe several times when I was a teenager and loved the concept. It's great to know where it came from.

  7. Hi, Jonene! I had no idea about this! I can only imagine the fear from all that. Brrr... Thank you for sharing this with us. :)

    ♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥

  8. Elizabeth, until recently, I didn't either. I knew that Daniel Defoe had listened to a sailor's story (I'm not sure if it was firsthand or not), but didn't know if it was a 'fish-tale' or not. It was crazy to learn the truth.


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