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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Recently Discovered Accounts Concerning the "Lone Woman" of San Nicolas Island


For more than a century, the story of the "Lone Woman" of San Nicolas Island has captured the interest of scholars and laymen alike. The tale was popularized because of the romanticism of a Robinson Crusoe sort of existence by a woman abandoned (18367-1853) on a tiny island off the California coast. The details of her culture have been carefully sifted out to provide at least some understanding of the Nicoleno by such scholars as Kroeber (1925:633-635), Meighan and Eberhart (1953), and Heizer and Elsasser (1973), the latter researchers bringing together all of the important historic accounts concerning the woman's story.

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