The author of "Life and Adventures of Robinon Crusoe", and over 500 other works, died on April 24, 1731. The shipwrecked Robinson Crusoe was possibly based on the real life experience of Alexander Selkirk, who spent four years on an island in the archipelago of Juan Fernandez, off Chile. Walter Scott wrote an essay on Defoe that was included in an 1887 printing of Robinson Crusoe by Carleton Publishers:
AN ESSAY ON HIS GENIUS AND WRITINGS
BY SIR WALTER SCOTT.
PERHAPS there exists no work, either of instruction or entertainment, in THE English language, which has been more generally read, nor more universally admired, than the Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. It is difficult to say in what the charm consists, by which persons of all classes and denominations are thus fascinated; yet the majority of readers will recollect it as among the first works which awakened and interested their youthful attention; and feel, even in advanced life, and in the maturity of their understanding, that there are still associated with Robinson Crusoe, the sentiments peculiar to that period, when all is new, all glittering in prospect, and when those visions are most bright, which the experience of after life tends only to darken and destroy...