Johann David Wyss was born in Berne, Switzerland in 1743. Although not much is known about Wyss's early life, what we do know is that he was greatly inspired by Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. This influence was so great that, later in life, he wrote his own shipwreck adventure story by the name of The Swiss Family Robinson. This novel imitates his own personal life, in that it features a married couple with four sons as the main protagonists. As for the rest of the story, it is completely fictional and was written with the aim of providing his children with an alternative way of learning certain life skills.