It’s 1719, Daniel Defoe flips through the freshly printed pages of his latest novel. It took him just six months to write but he has a good feeling about this one. He runs his finger along the title page, “The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe” printed in bold black ink. He feels good about this story, a story that landed on his lap, really. And his hunch would prove correct. The new novel would sell through 4 editions before the end of the year and over the next century or so it would come to be printed in more editions and translations than any other book in Western literature, besides the bible, of course. You’re likely familiar with Robinson Crusoe, even if you haven’t read the book. It’s become the quintessential story of adventure and survival. But did you know, the story of Robinson Crusoe is based on the real life survival of an actual man? Let’s fix that.
Hello, I’m Shea LaFountaine and you’re listening to History Fix, where I discuss lesser known true stories from history you won’t be able to stop thinking about. This week we’re talking about the real Robinson Crusoe, the man who inspired the smash hit adventure novel. Interestingly enough, you’ve probably never heard of him. I sure hadn’t. I didn’t even know Robinson Crusoe was based on a true story. The real Crusoe’s name was Alexander Selkirk.
Born in 1676 in Lower Largo, Scotland, Selkirk was the son of a shoemaker and tanner. His father wanted him to continue in the family business, to make shoes and tan things himself but Selkirk had little interest in that. He had an adventurous spirit and he wanted to go off exploring the world. He was the seventh son in the family, which, yikes. But apparently that was some kind of a good omen. Like, lucky number 7 I guess. His mother really believed in this and so she sort of doted on Selkirk. She wanted him to be this great thing, more than just a shoemaker. She wanted him to reach his full potential and accomplish his dreams so she actually encouraged him to do what he really wanted to do which was explore the world.
So he has his father pulling him in one direction and his mother encouraging him to do what he really wants to do and it causes this rift in the family. His father threatens to disinherit him if he doesn’t become a shoemaker slash tanner and after that, he becomes a bit rebellious, which I get. It’s that classic case of unnecessary punishment, overbearing parenting, leading someone to actually act badly, like “well I’m already being punished, they already think I’m bad, might as well do the stuff they already think I’m doing.” It’s the preacher’s son thing. Selkirk’s father tried to bend and mold his son with force into this very specific person that he wanted him to be and it backfires spectacularly.
Selkirk starts getting up to no good. The 12th century church that still stands in Lower Largo has records from 1696 of Selkirk being summoned before the minister and elders for quote “undecent carriage in ye church.” He fails to appear in court for these charges though and the reason is recorded as quote “did not compear being gone away to ye sea: this business is continued till his return.” I love all the ye’s, they’re fun. So he sailed off somewhere, possibly joining a Scottish colonizing expedition to Panama but that’s just a theory.
It’s not clear exactly how long he’s gone but he’s definitely back by 1701 because he’s back in the church court records, this time for fighting with his brothers. Apparently his little brother Andrew, sooo I guess they had more than 7 sons, bless this woman, Andrew laughed at him for accidentally taking a sip of salt water that he thought was fresh drinking water. Apparently Selkirk did not find this funny. He beat Andrew with a wooden staff and when his father and older brother John stepped in, he beat them too. He even assaulted his sister in law, John’s wife, Margaret when she got involved. So, yeah not cool, just totally lost it, basically. Selkirk definitely had temper problems, temper and impulse control problems.
But anyway, he’s summoned before the church again for this. The records state that he quote “compeared before the pulpit and made acknowledgement of his sin… and was rebuked in face of the congregation for it, and promised amendment in the strength of the Lord, and so was dismissed.” Which, by the way, I have no idea what “compeared” means I’m guessing it’s like “appeared.”
At this point, though, Selkirk is over it. He’s like “screw Lower Largo, I’m so outta here.” He was apparently quite good at math and science in school and he’s able to use these skills to secure a position as a navigator on a privateering mission. See, everyone thinks math and science are so nerdy. They aren’t you guys. So far in this podcast we’ve seen death ray, mind blowing engineering accuracy, illicit chemists, and now pirates are using math and science too. So, embrace your inner nerds folks. Nerds are officially cool now.
So let’s talk about privateering for a sec. I mentioned this in episode 3 about Blackbeard as well. And really, this is the same time period and the same country, sort of, that Blackbeard came from. So Selkirk and Blackbeard were very much in the same world, and it’s all thanks to the Spanish War of Succession which lasted from 1701 to 1714. Basically what happened is Spain’s king Charles II died childless. He doesn’t have a Spanish heir, but he has relatives in France and Austria. They both have a sort of claim to the Spanish throne. So Charles basically has to choose, the French heir or the Austrian heir. He ends up naming Philip Duke of Anjou, his 17 year old great nephew as his successor. Philip was the grandson of Louis XIV of France. So in making this choice, Charles II chose France. Louis is like “sweet, we’ll go ahead and unite France and Spain and just rule the whole world together.” But the rest of Europe is like “umm, how bout no?” They didn’t want France to become the most powerful country in the world. France, if you were just a bit more likable then maybe, but no they weren’t feeling it. So England, Holland, Prussia, and Austria join together to create the “Grand Alliance” against the union of France and Spain.
A lot of this war was fought at sea. So the governments of these countries hired privateers, which were basically like legal pirates. Privateers could attack and loot enemy ships without the threat of being arrested and charged with a crime, because it was legal. They were actually hired by the government to do this. And they got to keep around 80% of whatever they stole. So this was a very lucrative opportunity for Selkirk. He gets to explore the world, which is what he always wanted to do, and he can make a solid profit doing it. It helps that they’re fighting against the Spanish. Spain is one of the wealthiest countries in the world right now, mostly because of all the gold and riches they stole when they conquered Central America. Refer to last week’s episode, Tenochtitlan, to learn more about that. But that meant that privateering against the Spanish was a solid business. There were lots of riches to steal.
In 1703 Selkirk joins a privateering expedition headed by William Dampier. This guy is, interesting, to say the least. He was a renowned sailor and explorer, the first person to circumnavigate the Earth 3 times, he was responsible for discovering and naming a ton of new plant and animal species and introducing a bunch of new foods to Europe. So, with that kind of experience, he was chosen to command the British warship HMS Roebuck on an expedition to Australia in 1699 but it went horribly awry. He was reportedly drunk, aggressive, and completely incompetent from the very beginning and did NOT get along with the second lieutenant, George Fisher. The two apparently would drink together and then get into drunken arguments and fist fights in front of the crew. Eventually Dampier dropped Fisher off, imprisoning him in Brazil and carried on around the southern tip of Africa towards Australia.
He’s sailing around Australia, New Guinea, Indonesia, charting stuff and recording new species and stuff but the ship, the Roebuck is just falling more and more into disrepair. He tries to have it fixed up in what is today Indonesia but claims it was even leakier after the repairs. He doesn’t trust his crew, they don’t think very highly of him. He decides to head back to England, abandoning plans to explore the uncharted east coast of Australia which was the whole goal of the expedition. He makes it around Africa and is heading up towards England when he realizes the Roebuck isn’t going to make it. He runs it aground off the island of Ascension in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, orders the crew to cut down the sails to make tents and then heads for shore with whatever supplies they can salvage before the ship goes under.
They end up stranded on Ascension for 5 weeks until they finally catch a ride home on a passing English ship. When he gets back he’s court martialed for the loss of the ship and the poor treatment of second lieutenant Fisher, and just the drunken debauchery in general. So he’s fallen from grace. This was like a legit Royal Navy expedition and he’s royally screwed it up. Now he’s forced to resort to privateering. He’s really just kind of a hot mess overall. So he basically got kicked out of the royal navy for acting like a pirate and then just became an actual pirate.
But Selkirk finds himself among Dampier’s crew. They have 2 ships - the St. George which is captained by Dampier and the Cinque Ports which is captained by a guy named Charles Pickering. Cinque Ports sounds like some kind of plumbing term but it’s French for five harbors. So it’s really like “sonk ports” but whatever. Selkirk is made sailing master on the Cinque Ports. This is a high up position. He’s in charge of all the navigation duties for the ship, maps, longitude, latitude, that kind of stuff. It’s very high ranking - on account of the math. I told you, nerdy is the new cool.
Dampier’s plan is to raid Spanish ships returning from Argentina but nothing really comes of it. The crew is becoming restless and disappointed which is never good. On at least two occasions, Dampier leaves men stranded on islands because they were becoming a problem. This is called marooning. It’s basically a way to get rid of unruly or mutinous crew members without actually killing them. You just drop them off on an uninhabited island with the assumption that they will just die on their own out there, basically. But it’s not actually your fault, you didn’t kill them, directly anyway, so you can’t get in trouble for it. It’s like a pirate loophole.
They’re heading up the east coast of South America after Argentina proved fruitless. When they're off the coast of Brazil, a scurvy outbreak hits the ship. Scurvy is just caused by not having enough vitamin C in your diet for at least 3 months. So, simple fix, right? Just eat a freaking orange or something. But they just didn’t know this at the time. Actually, vitamins were not discovered until the 20th century. So they had no concept of vitamin C and they had no idea how easy scurvy was to cure. They were just like “Ah! What is this horrible disease?”
So scurvy takes out some of the crew, including Charles Pickering who was the captain of the Cinque Ports, the boat Selkirk is on. Pickering is replaced by a kid named Thomas Stradling, and I’m calling him a kid because he was only 21 years old. Stradling is not great. He’s greatly disliked by the crew.
The two ships pass the southern tip of South America in 1704 and finally capture a merchant ship called Asuncion. Everyone is like “geez, finally.” Selkirk is actually put in charge of Asuncion. But Dampier, who just cannot read the room, comes on board and grabs some of the goods - brandy, wine, sugar - you know, just like essentials, and takes them back to his ship the St. George. Then he’s like “okay, we don’t need this ship, set her free.” And everyone else is like, “wait, what?” and Selkirk is like “wait, I thought I got to keep this one.” and Dampier’s like “nope, I got what I wanted, let it go.” So relations deteriorate further after that, for sure.
A few months later the Cinque Ports decides to part ways from the St. George and go it alone. In September of 1704, they stop for supplies on one of the uninhabited islands of the Juan Fernandez archipelago 700ish miles off the coast of Chile. The island is called Más a Tierra by the Spanish which means “closer to land.” It’s fairly inhospitable. Think craggy volcanic mountains and sharp rocky cliffs. Not white sand beaches and palm trees. It’s not that kind of island. But it does have fresh water, wood for repairing the ship, and food - fruits, vegetables, fish, wild goats.
While they’re there, Selkirk tells Stradling, the Cinque Port’s 21 year old captain, that they need to repair the ship before they set sail again. It’s in bad shape. Selkirk doesn’t think it’s safe to sail in this condition. But Stradling is like “nah, we’re good.” They get into a huge argument about this. Hot headed Selkirk, I mean we know he’s hot headed he beat his sister-in-law with a wooden stick for less - he says he’d rather stay on the island than set back out in a leaky ship. So Stradling is like “okay, you got it” and leaves him there. Selkirk is all “wait, I didn’t actually mean it…” he wades out into the water after the row boat which is heading back to the Cinque Ports anchored off shore but Stradling doesn’t budge. He makes an example out of Selkirk, sending a message to the rest of the crew, and just sails off without him.
Now, the real irony is that the Cinque Ports actually sank not long after this because of Stradling’s refusal to make the repairs Selkirk was begging for. Stradling and a handful of crew members survive but are captured pretty much immediately by the Spanish and imprisoned in Lima, Peru under horrific conditions. So it’s a real “told ya so” scenario. Unfortunately, Selkirk doesn’t get to say “told ya so,” doesn’t even know about the fate of the Cinque Ports because of course he’s been marooned on Mas a Tierra.
He has a few supplies with him - bedding, a musket with some ammunition, a hatchet, a knife, his navigation tools, a cooking pot, two pounds of tobacco, some cheese and jam, a flask of rum, and his Bible. And this just reminds me so much of the History Channel show Alone. If you’ve never watched it, you totally should. I’ve seen every episode, it’s fantastic. Basically, 10 contestants get dropped off in the middle of nowhere, separately, so they are all completely alone. And whoever lasts the longest wins half a million dollars. But they get to choose 10 items from this list to bring with them. So it’s like sleeping bag, bow and arrow, ax, knife, fishing line, cooking pot, fire starter… there are all these different survival tools they have to choose from but they can only bring 10. So that’s what this reminds me of. These are Selkirk’s ten items. He’s basically a contestant on Alone except he doesn’t have the little satellite phone thingy to tap out if it goes badly.
In the beginning, he stays close to the shoreline, hoping he’ll be able to signal to a passing ship for rescue any day now. He eats lobsters and seals and just bides his time. But days turn into weeks and he’s desperately lonely. He craves companionship. The isolation is really getting to him. And this is always people’s downfall on Alone too. If there’s anything I’ve learned from watching that show it’s that people need people. We are not solitary creatures. We are pack animals and we do not do well alone. They’ll be a guy just absolutely killing it, he has an awesome shelter, he’s catching fish every day, he’s like to the point of whittling bowling pins out of tree branches to kill time cause he’s just crushing survival so hard and you’re like “okay, well he’s definitely going to win.” And then the next day he’s like “I miss my wife, beep” and he taps out. That’s the biggest obstacle on the show - loneliness. And that’s the biggest obstacle for Selkirk too. To the point that he contemplates suicide to escape the oppressive isolation. But then one of his ten items comes in handy - his Bible. He reads and rereads the Bible over and over, he prays, he sings hymns - religion becomes his savior and it’s what he uses to keep his spirits up. He wasn’t dying of starvation or exposure to the elements, he was dying of loneliness. It’s a real thing. But his Bible is the cure. It revives his soul.
At some point, sea lions head to shore for their mating season. They are huge and aggressive and super loud to the point where Selkirk has to head inland. The sea lions basically kick him off the beach. He forages for fruits and vegetables, and hunts wild goats for food. He finds some old barrels washed up on the beach and fashions the metal hoops from those into knives and other metal tools. Which is also very Alone by the way. Contestants can use anything they find while they’re out there. He builds a shelter out of pimento trees and a second outbuilding for cooking and eating, which is smart. You gotta keep your food away from your bed for sure cause of the bears. Just kidding I don’t think there are bears on this island but there are always bears on Alone. But other reasons too, I’m sure.
Eventually he starts to run out of ammunition for the musket he had with him so instead of shooting goats, he starts chasing them down and catching them. He builds a pen to keep them in so now he has goat milk and meat available whenever he needs it. When his clothes wear out, he makes new ones out of goat skin, using the skills his father forced him to learn as a shoemaker and tanner. So, just picture this guy, clothed in fur covered goat skin, tan and leathered from the sun, beard overgrown, he must have looked like a wild animal at this point.
He goes to the beach constantly to check for passing ships. The Cinque Ports had stopped on this island for provisions, surely another ship would too, someday. He’s disappointed time and time again, just an empty horizon. Then one day, ships. He spots ships approaching. But ships from where? Ships from England? France? Spain? Spanish ships were worse than death. He’d be captured, tortured, imprisoned. It was worse than dying on the island. As they get closer, he finally spots their flags. Spanish. His heart must have just sunk. Selkirk hides as the men come ashore but he’s soon spotted. The Spanish sailors chase him but he easily outruns them, his body is in peak physical condition from running down goats and catching them with his bare hands. He hides in a tree, and they move on. Before leaving the island, though, the Spanish discover his shelter and slaughter many of his goats.
Selkirk still yearns for companionship. When the Spanish ships leave, he’s launched right back into isolation. Even though they were his enemies, he was fulfilled spying on them, listening to them talk to each other in their foreign tongue. Now they’re gone and he’s alone again. He starts taming the cats on the island, feeding them, inviting them into his shelter where they help control the rat population. He has the cats and the goats for company. He teaches them tricks, dances with them. I just love it. I love that he befriends the cats. This would definitely soothe my soul too.
At one point he stumbles and falls down a ravine while chasing a goat. He’s badly injured and has to crawl back to his shelter where he lies, in pain for 10 days.
In January 1709, after 4 years and 4 months on the island, he spots 2 ships on the horizon. He watches them approach, squinting his eyes, trying to make out the flags hanging from the masts. English. This is what he’s been waiting for. He lights a signal fire to let them know he’s there. The next morning, a boat rows ashore and Selkirk runs out onto the beach waving a white flag. When they come ashore he learns they are privateering ships, the Duke and the Duchess, captained by an Englishman named Woodes Rogers.
He invites the men to his shelter and tells them his story. There he learns something interesting. William Dampier is part of their crew. Yeah, you remember Dampier, cast out of the Royal Navy, forced to turn to privateering, captain of the St. George, head of the very expedition that led Selkirk to be marooned on this island. He’s out there on those ships right now. The men invite him to board the ships, they’re like “come with us, we’ll take you home” and Selkirk is like “uhhh, I don’t know, I don’t think Dampier likes me very much.” They assure him that Dampier is not in command of anything so he agrees to join them as the second mate on the Duke and he finally leaves Mas a Tierra island. Which, all I can think about is the poor cats back at the shelter the day he doesn’t come home. It breaks my heart. But, I mean they were wildcats originally so I’m sure they were fine. But still, they were his friends.
Dampier must have been surprised to see him, can you imagine? And I’m sure at that point, Selkirk learned of the fate of the Cinque Ports, sinking after Stradling refused to make those repairs. That had to have felt like redemption.
Selkirk doesn’t go straight home though. He turns right back into a privateer, carrying out raids in Ecuador and Mexico, stealing a Spanish ship which he captains until he returns to England in 1711, 800 pounds richer (which is like $166,000 today). He’s not as much of a pirate as he once was though. He’s quiet and withdrawn. It feels strange to be in such close quarters with the other men. He doesn’t drink or curse anymore because of how religious he has become. So he’s doing piratey things like stealing ships but he’s a changed man. He’s not acting quite as much like a pirate now.
So 1711, Selkirk heads home. He’s 35 years old. He’s sailed around the entire world. He spent 4 and half years alone on an uninhabited island and he’s been away for over 8 years. When he gets to his family home, no one is there. He realizes it’s Sunday so he heads to the church where he slips in the door and takes a seat towards the back. No one recognizes him. He has a thick beard and he’s lavishly dressed in fine clothes. He’s muscular and weathered, not the pale, scrawny boy he was when he left. He spots his mother seated in a pew a little ways up. She keeps turning to glance at him. Suddenly, her eyes widen with recognition. She jumps up from her seat and runs to him, throwing her arms around him. The prodigal son, home at last.
Selkirk moves back into the family home but he’s not the same person he was when he left 8 years ago. His time on the island has changed him. He has a hard time being around people now. He misses his cats. He sets up a cave-like hangout in the backyard where he gazes out at the Largo harbor. He becomes more and more withdrawn and eventually starts drinking and fighting again.
Despite Selkirk’s inner turmoil, word of his adventure starts to spread around England. Woodes Rogers, the captain of the Duke, writes about him and he’s introduced to Sir Richard Steele who writes an article about him in The Englishman newspaper. He becomes a bit of a local celebrity, notoriety he doesn’t actually want at this point. Steele quotes Selkirk in his article saying quote “I am now worth 800 pounds but shall never be so happy as when I was not worth a farthing.” So he’s definitely left with a sense of dissatisfaction even though he was successfully rescued from the island and returned to civilization. There’s an emptiness there.
At some point, Selkirk’s story comes to the attention of Daniel Defoe. We know that Defoe interacted with Woodes Rogers. It’s unclear whether he ever actually met Selkirk. Defoe was a writer but he was also a political activist. Actually, he had been thrown in jail on a few occasions for the scandalous nature of his political writing. So he wrote Robinson Crusoe anonymously. The first edition did not include his name. It was an adventure story peppered with veiled political criticism of British society so I guess he was trying to avoid more jail time. Actually, Defoe wrote around 300 works in his lifetime, many anonymously. He used around 198 known pen names. If you remember in episode 3 about Blackbeard, I mentioned that book “A General History of the Pyrates” that was written with the pen name Captain Charles Johnson except that’s not actually a real guy. Daniel Defoe is one theory for the author of that book, but I don’t know, some of the other theories are more compelling. I don’t know if he wrote that but he definitely wrote Robinson Crusoe.
Actually, the full title of the book is, ready? “The life and strange surprizing adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, mariner, who lived 8 and 20 years all alone in an uninhabited island on the coast of America near the mouth of the great river of Oroonoque having been cast on shore by shipwreck wherein all the men perished but himself with an account how he was at last as strangely delivered by pirates, written by himself.” Not exactly a concise title, but that is how it was done back then. It was that last bit though, “written by himself” that really solidified the success of this book. It’s not true, but people thought it was. So this is like when James Frey tried to pass A Million Little Pieces off as a memoir when it was really a semi-fictional novel. I don’t know if you remember this scandal, it was a big deal. Similar situation but no one really cared back then.
The plot of Robinson Crusoe is not exactly what happened to Selkirk. In the book, Crusoe is in the Caribbean, not off of South America. Also, he survives alone for 28 years, not 4 and half years. But Crusoe does have the cats and goats. He wears goatskin clothes just like Selkirk, he makes his own tools, and he turns to religion for spiritual salvation. So the stories are similar enough.
Not to spoil the ending, but, just like Selkirk, Crusoe is rescued by an English ship and returns home to Europe. He gets married, has children, and eventually revisits the island. But what becomes of the real Crusoe? Alexander Selkirk does marry, possibly to two women at once. He meets a lady named Sophia Bruce and persuades her to move to London with him to elope. Not sure what happens there but it obviously fizzles out because in 1720 he marries a widowed innkeeper named Francis Candace. He doesn’t have children with either woman, though.
His job is actually a bit surprising considering his past. He joins the navy where he enforces anti-piracy measures off the west coast of Africa. Now remember, Selkirk was a pirate. Well, he was a privateer which is like a legal pirate. After the war of Spanish succession ended, privateers were no longer needed by the government and were basically let go. At that point many of them, including Blackbeard, turned to piracy, which is definitely not legal. So rather than turn pirate with many of his fellow privateers, Selkirk switches sides completely and becomes a pirate hunter. He hunts down, captures, and arrests pirates who were later hanged publicly for their crimes.
What I find rather unsavory about it though is that he’s mostly stopping pirates from attacking slave ships. He’s off the west coast of Africa, most of the worthwhile ships to pirate in that area at this time were transporting enslaved Africans to the Americas. And, I talked about this in episode 12, Abolition, when a slave ship was taken over by pirates, often the enslaved people were given the opportunity to join the pirates which was actually a much preferred fate to being carted off to be sold like cattle in unsanitary death ships. So Selkirk is really stopping that salvation from happening which is actually more evil than what the pirates are doing. I mean, I don’t think he saw what he was doing as evil at all. But when you really look back the actual repercussions of it, yeah it’s a nasty business to be in. It’s confusing because you want to be like oh he’s working for the good guys now. But the good guys are helping the slave traders. So are they really good guys? It’s like slave traders versus pirates. It’s, yeah I don’t even know whose side I’m on. The pirates, I think. I think I’d have to go pirates on that one.
In December of 1721, Alexander Selkirk died of yellow fever aboard a navy warship called the HMS Weymouth. The ship’s log recorded quote “North to northwest. Small Breeze and fair. Took 3 Englishmen out of a Dutch ship and at 8 pm. Alexander Selkirk . . . died.”
And that’s that. He just died. After all the struggle, the strength, the determination to survive, he just died and it’s just a single handwritten line of text scrawled in a ship’s log. His body was thrown overboard and that was the end of Alexander Selkirk. But his legacy, his story lives on, Daniel Defore made sure of that with Robinson Crusoe which has since inspired many other stories - Castaway, Lord of the Flies, Swiss Family Robinson, Lost in Space - it has captivated the minds of readers, audiences for centuries - this tale of human survival, overcoming obstacles, overcoming inner demons. It takes man out of society, strips him down to the animal he really is, and exposes what’s under the surface, what’s under the surface of all of us. It’s an exciting adventure story with twists and turns and lots of action but really, it’s a brutally honest look at the human psyche, the human condition, and that’s very relatable.
In 1885, a bronze statue of Selkirk was erected near his family home in Lower Largo, Scotland. It portrays him wearing his goat skin clothing, holding a musket, and scanning the horizon for signs of rescue. A commemorative plaque was also placed on the island, Mas a Tierra, which was renamed Robinson Crusoe Island in 1966. And yet, I had no idea that his experience was the inspiration behind Robinson Crusoe, one of the most successful and well known novels ever written. I had never heard the name Alexander Selkirk. But his story lives on, and now you know it too.
Thank you all so very much for listening to History Fix. I hope you found this story interesting and maybe you even learned something new. Be sure to follow my instagram @historyfixpodcast to see some images that go along with this episode and to stay on top of new episodes as they drop. I’d also really appreciate it if you’d rate and follow this podcast on whatever app you’re using to listen, that’ll make it much easier to get your next fix.
Information used in this episode was sourced from Smithsonian Magazine, National Health Service, Château de Versailles, US Naval Institute, and a Short History of podcast episode called “The Real Robinson Crusoe.” Links to all of these sources can be found in the show notes.