Robinson Crusoe is a simple stereotype; he is you and me forced back on to our own resources. He was inspired by the true adventures of the Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk, an able but short-fused officer on the privateer Cinque Ports, who was left in the Juan Fernández Islands on Más a Tierra, now renamed Isla Robinson Crusoe. Selkirk had demanded to be marooned after he had pronounced the Cinque Ports unseaworthy, and Captain Thomas Stradling, just 21, had refused to tarry for repairs. Selkirk’s chest was fetched, and a few other items, including a musket, powder and shot. Only as the ship’s boat began to pull away did Selkirk realize the enormity of what he was doing and beg them to return. Stradling said, ‘Stay where you are, and may you starve.’ Thankfully for Defoe and us, he didn’t.