Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) was an English trader, writer and poet. His childhood was marked by some of the most important events in British history-the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London-and he grew up in a country that was hostile to his Presbyterian upbringing. He was a powerful and controversial figure, being a trusted adviser to the king, a rebel, a prisoner and a spy. He was also a successful writer with over 300 articles, poems or stories attributed to him. It was towards the end of his life that he wrote his great novels. The most famous of these is Robinson Crusoe, believed to have been inspired by the real-life shipwreck story of Alexander Selkirk who spent four years stranded on the island of Mas a Tierra in 1704-09. In 1966 this island was renamed Robinson Crusoe Island. Robert Ingpen was born in 1936 in Geelong, Australia. He studied illustration art and book design at The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. In 1986 he was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for his contribution to children's literature and has been honoured with Membership of the Order of Australia. A world-renowned artist and author, he has designed, illustrated and written over 100 books. This series of classic works illustrated by Robert include Treasure Island, Peter Pan and Wendy, The Jungle Book, The Wind in the Willows and A Christmas Carol. Robert lives and works in Anglesea, near his home town of Geelong.