Selkirk’s Island

A fascinating account of piracy, betrayal, and raw survival on the high seas and dry land, Selkirk’s Island rediscovers the amazing tale of an eighteenth-century legend. Born a poor Scotsman, Alexander Selkirk signed with William Dampier, a pirate who was as famous for his self-promotion as for his naval success, on an ill-fated quest to pillage the famous Manila galleon. After a series of scuffles with the captain, Selkirk was put ashore on an island three hundred miles west of South America. Alone and with little more than the clothes on his back, Selkirk spent four long years learning to survive.
Drawing on Selkirk’s own testimony, that of his rescuers and fellow crewmen, and petitions from two women who each claimed to be his wife, celebrated biographer Diana Souhami uncovers the truth behind the strangeness and wonder of a forgotten man and his unforgettable experience

256 pages in Quercus paperback edition

ISBN 978-1782060314


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