Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) was an English author who wrote hundreds of works: books, pamphlets, articles. A brave journalist and satirist, he was imprisoned for his writings. When he was nearly sixty, he turned to writing novels, and in 1719 published The Life and Strange and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner. It tells a story of a man who is marooned on a desert island, and it was inspired by a real event. Alexander Selkirk (1676-1721) was born in Langs, Scotland, and became a sailor under the English explorer and buccaneer, Captain William Dampier. In 1704, Selkirk quarreled with Dampier and asked to be put ashore on a desert island. He lived on the island - alone - for four years and four months before he was rescued.