Synopses & Reviews
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.
PRAISE FOR SELKIRK'S ISLAND
"Souhami. . . brings a distinctly modern approach to her biography of Selkirk. . . . With great flair, Souhami gives us a portrait of the man who made the place famous. . . . A vivid survival tale." --New York Times Book Review
"Souhami brilliantly recreates the feel of the high seas and the brave, money-hungry men who sailed them. . . . Rich and vastly entertaining." --The Christian Science Monitor
"Literary history compressed into capsule-size that goes down like a charm."--Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Diana Souhami is the author of many acclaimed books including The Trials of Radclyffe Hall (short-listed for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Biography and winner of the Lambda Literary Award), Gertrude and Alice, Gluck 1895-1978: Her Biography, Greta and Cecil, and the bestselling Mrs. Keppel and Her Daughter. She lives in London.