Originally named Juan Fernandez, the island of Robinson Crusoe in the South Pacific was the inspiration for Defoe's classic novel about the adventures of a shipwrecked sailor. Yet the complex story of Britain's relationship with this distant, tiny island is more surprising, more colourful and considerably darker. Drawing on voyage accounts, journal entries, maps and illustrations, acclaimed historian Andrew Lambert brings to life the voices of the visiting sailors, scientists, writers and artists, from the early encounters of the 1500s and the perilous journeys of the eighteenth-century explorers, to the naval conflicts of the First World War and the environmental concerns of more recent years.
Crusoe's Island explores why we are still not willing to give up on the specks of land at the far ends of the earth.
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