One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Where was Robinson Crusoe?

He had been prospering in Brazil, but had agreed to sail to the coast of Africa (Guinea) to obtain slaves for himself and other plantation owners. By his own account when the storm hits he is around the mouth of the Orinoco River (northeast coast of Venezuela) and within sight of Tobago. This would seem in accord with what he "roughly" reckons later on the island (making use of the autumnal equinox):
. . . ; for I reckoned myself, by observation, to be in the latitude of nine degrees twenty-two minutes north of the line.


Though Crusoe is fiction he may be partly based on a real castaway by the name of Alexander Selkirk. Selkirk was stranded for four years on an island, Mas a Tierra (since renamed Robinson Crusoe Island), off the coast of Chile. Due west of Santiago this island of course does not accord with the details given in the novel.

Map Of Venezuela Pictures, Images and Photos

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