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: Daniel Defoe (c.1659 -1731) was a fiction writer, journalist, pamphleteer, and spy. He was one of the first authors to write a novel. A prolific and versatile writer, he wrote more than five hundred books, pamphlets, and journals on various topics including politics, crime, religion, marriage, psychology and the supernatural. Robinson Crusoe is a fictional novel about an English castaway first published in 1719 is considered to be the first English novel. Crusoe spent 28 years on a tropical island encountering mutineers, cannibals, natives and captives. The novel is loosely based on Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish castaway, who survived for four years on a deserted island. After he returned to England Crusoe married and had three children. He settled on a farm in Bedford. He soon expressed the desire to see his island again. When his wife died he decided to make the trip. Crusoe takes various steps to consolidate leadership on the island and assure the civility of the inhabitants.