Selkirk, Alexander sĕl´kərk [key], 1676–1721, Scottish sailor whose adventures suggested to Daniel Defoe the story of Robinson Crusoe (1719). In 1704, as a sailing master, Selkirk quarreled with the captain of his ship in the Juan Fernández islands and asked to be put ashore. He remained on Más a Tierra Island for four years and four months before he was rescued (Feb., 1709) by an English privateer.
See J. Howell, The Life and Adventures of Alexander Selkirk (1829).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: English Literature, 1500 to 1799: Biographies