France's Robinson Crusoe was a woman

By David Ellis
February 10 2015 - 7:00pm
HARRINGTON Harbour that was harsh, uninhabited and known as The Island of Demons when Marguerite de la Rocque was abandoned here; today fewer than 300 live on the near-barren island. (WikiMedia.)
AFTER her rescue Marguerite de la Rocque returned to France, opened a private school for girls and lived in the luxury of Chateau de la Mothe in Nontron. Photo: FranceTourism.
THE Heptameron was published under the name Queen Marguerite in France and Anglicised as Queen Margaret elsewhere. (National Library of France.)


QUEEN Marguerite of Navarre heard of the strange tale of Marguerite de la Rocque and fictionalised it in her book of short stories, Heptameron. (National Library of France.)

THE plight of Scottish seaman Alexander Selkirk who was abandoned on a South Pacific island in 1704, and which inspired Daniel Defoe's classic Treasure Island (this column last week) was not the first such case of a marooning on a proverbial desert island that was to go on to enthral the reading public.