When Daniel Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe” was first published in 1719, many of its earliest readers believed it to be a true story. Although the book was only ostensibly an account of a real incident, it was in fact based upon the experiences of Alexander Selkirk (1676–1721). A Scottish privateer and Royal Navy officer, Selkirk was marooned by his captain for four years and four months between 1704 and 1709 on an uninhabited island in the South Pacific Ocean. Selkirk managed to survive thanks to his cunning and resourcefulness, however he eventually died due to a tropical illness aboard HMS Weymouth off West Africa years later. An unbelievable biographical account of Selkirk’s harrowing experiences as a castaway on an unforgiving island, John Howell’s “Adventures of Alexander Selkirk” will appeal to fans of tales like “Robinson Crusoe” and true stories of death-defying feats. Read & Co. Travel is proudly republishing this biography now in a brand new edition complete with an introductory essay by George Atherton Aitken.