Daniel Defoe (/dɪˈfoʊ/; c. 1660 – 24 April 1731), born Daniel Foe, was an English trader, writer, journalist, pamphleteer and spy. He is most famous for his novel Robinson Crusoe, which is second only to the Bible in its number of translations. He has been seen as one of the earliest proponents of the English novel, and helped to popularise the form in Britain with others such as Aphra Behn and Samuel Richardson. Defoe wrote many political tracts and often was in trouble with the authorities, including a spell in prison. Intellectuals and political leaders paid attention to his fresh ideas and sometimes consulted with him.
Defoe was a prolific and versatile writer, producing more than three hundred works—books, pamphlets, and journals—on diverse topics, including politics, crime, religion, marriage, psychology, and the supernatural. He was also a pioneer of business journalism and economic journalism.
|Died||24 April 1731 (aged 70)|
|Resting place||Bunhill Fields|
|Occupation||Writer, journalist, merchant|
Daniel Foe (his original name) was probably born in Fore Street in the parish of St Giles Cripplegate, London. Defoe later added the aristocratic-sounding "De" to his name, and on occasion claimed descent from the family of De Beau Faux. His birthdate and birthplace are uncertain, and sources offer dates from 1659 to 1662, with the summer or early autumn of 1660 considered the most likely. His father, James Foe, was a prosperous tallow chandler and a member of the Worshipful Company of Butchers. In Defoe's early life, he experienced some of the most unusual occurrences in English history: in 1665, 70,000 were killed by the Great Plague of London, and the next year, the Great Fire of London left standing only Defoe's and two other houses in his neighbourhood. In 1667, when he was probably about seven, a Dutch fleet sailed up the Medway via the River Thames and attacked the town of Chatham in the raid on the Medway. His mother, Annie, had died by the time he was about ten.
Defoe was educated at the Rev. James Fisher's boarding school in Pixham Lane in Dorking, Surrey. His parents were Presbyterian dissenters, and around the age of 14, he attended a dissenting academy at Newington Green in London run by Charles Morton, and he is believed to have attended the Newington Green Unitarian Church and kept practising his Presbyterian religion. During this period, the English government persecuted those who chose to worship outside the Church of England.
Defoe entered the world of business as a general merchant, dealing at different times in hosiery, general woollen goods, and wine. His ambitions were great and he was able to buy a country estate and a ship (as well as civets to make perfume), though he was rarely out of debt. He was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1692. On 1 January 1684, Defoe married Mary Tuffley at St Botolph's Aldgate. She was the daughter of a London merchant, receiving a dowry of £3,700—a huge amount by the standards of the day. With his debts and political difficulties, the marriage may have been troubled, but it lasted 50 years and produced eight children.
In 1685, Defoe joined the ill-fated Monmouth Rebellion but gained a pardon, by which he escaped the Bloody Assizes of Judge George Jeffreys. Queen Mary and her husband William III were jointly crowned in 1688, and Defoe became one of William's close allies and a secret agent. Some of the new policies led to conflict with France, thus damaging prosperous trade relationships for Defoe, who had established himself as a merchant. In 1692, Defoe was arrested for debts of £700, though his total debts may have amounted to £17,000. His laments were loud and he always defended unfortunate debtors, but there is evidence that his financial dealings were not always honest. He died with little wealth and evidence of lawsuits with the royal treasury.
Following his release, he probably travelled in Europe and Scotland, and it may have been at this time that he traded wine to Cadiz, Porto and Lisbon. By 1695, he was back in England, now formally using the name "Defoe" and serving as a "commissioner of the glass duty", responsible for collecting taxes on bottles. In 1696, he ran a tile and brick factory in what is now Tilbury in Essex and lived in the parish of Chadwell St Mary.
As many as 545 titles have been ascribed to Defoe, ranging from satirical poems, political and religious pamphlets, and volumes. (Furbank and Owens argue for the much smaller number of 276 published items in Critical Bibliography (1998).)
Defoe's first notable publication was An essay upon projects, a series of proposals for social and economic improvement, published in 1697. From 1697 to 1698, he defended the right of King William III to a standing army during disarmament, after the Treaty of Ryswick (1697) had ended the Nine Years' War (1688–97). His most successful poem, The True-Born Englishman (1701), defended the king against the perceived xenophobia of his enemies, satirising the English claim to racial purity. In 1701, Defoe presented the Legion's Memorial to Robert Harley, then Speaker of the House of Commons - and his subsequent employer - while flanked by a guard of sixteen gentlemen of quality. It demanded the release of the Kentish petitioners, who had asked Parliament to support the king in an imminent war against France.
The death of William III in 1702 once again created a political upheaval, as the king was replaced by Queen Anne who immediately began her offensive against Nonconformists. Defoe was a natural target, and his pamphleteering and political activities resulted in his arrest and placement in a pillory on 31 July 1703, principally on account of his December 1702 pamphlet entitled The Shortest-Way with the Dissenters; Or, Proposals for the Establishment of the Church, purporting to argue for their extermination. In it, he ruthlessly satirised both the High church Tories and those Dissenters who hypocritically practised so-called "occasional conformity", such as his Stoke Newington neighbour Sir Thomas Abney. It was published anonymously, but the true authorship was quickly discovered and Defoe was arrested. He was charged with seditious libel. Defoe was found guilty after a trial at the Old Bailey in front of the notoriously sadistic judge Salathiel Lovell. Lovell sentenced him to a punitive fine of 200 marks, to public humiliation in a pillory, and to an indeterminate length of imprisonment which would only end upon the discharge of the punitive fine. According to legend, the publication of his poem Hymn to the Pillory caused his audience at the pillory to throw flowers instead of the customary harmful and noxious objects and to drink to his health. The truth of this story is questioned by most scholars, although John Robert Moore later said that "no man in England but Defoe ever stood in the pillory and later rose to eminence among his fellow men".
After his three days in the pillory, Defoe went into Newgate Prison. Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, brokered his release in exchange for Defoe's co-operation as an intelligence agent for the Tories. In exchange for such co-operation with the rival political side, Harley paid some of Defoe's outstanding debts, improving his financial situation considerably.
Within a week of his release from prison, Defoe witnessed the Great Storm of 1703, which raged through the night of 26/27 November. It caused severe damage to London and Bristol, uprooted millions of trees, and killed more than 8,000 people, mostly at sea. The event became the subject of Defoe's The Storm (1704), which includes a collection of witness accounts of the tempest. Many regard it as one of the world's first examples of modern journalism.
In the same year, he set up his periodical A Review of the Affairs of France which supported the Harley Ministry, chronicling the events of the War of the Spanish Succession (1702–14). The Review ran three times a week without interruption until 1713. Defoe was amazed that a man as gifted as Harley left vital state papers lying in the open, and warned that he was almost inviting an unscrupulous clerk to commit treason; his warnings were fully justified by the William Gregg affair.
When Harley was ousted from the ministry in 1708, Defoe continued writing the Review to support Godolphin, then again to support Harley and the Tories in the Tory ministry of 1710–14. The Tories fell from power with the death of Queen Anne, but Defoe continued doing intelligence work for the Whig government, writing "Tory" pamphlets that undermined the Tory point of view.
Not all of Defoe's pamphlet writing was political. One pamphlet was originally published anonymously, entitled "A True Relation of the Apparition of One Mrs. Veal the Next Day after her Death to One Mrs. Bargrave at Canterbury the 8th of September, 1705." It deals with interaction between the spiritual realm and the physical realm and was most likely written in support of Charles Drelincourt's The Christian Defense against the Fears of Death (1651). It describes Mrs. Bargrave's encounter with her old friend Mrs. Veal after she had died. It is clear from this piece and other writings that the political portion of Defoe's life was by no means his only focus.
In despair during his imprisonment for the seditious libel case, Defoe wrote to William Paterson, the London Scot and founder of the Bank of England and part instigator of the Darien scheme, who was in the confidence of Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, leading minister and spymaster in the English Government. Harley accepted Defoe's services and released him in 1703. He immediately published The Review, which appeared weekly, then three times a week, written mostly by himself. This was the main mouthpiece of the English Government promoting the Act of Union 1707.
In 1709, Defoe authored a rather lengthy book entitled The History of the Union of Great Britain, an Edinburgh publication printed by the Heirs of Anderson. The book was not published anonymously and cites Defoe twice as being its author. The book attempts to explain the facts leading up to the Act of Union 1707, dating all the way back to 6 December 1604 when King James I was presented with a proposal for unification. This so-called "first draft" for unification took place 100 years before the signing of the 1707 accord, which respectively preceded the commencement of Robinson Crusoe by another ten years.
Defoe began his campaign in The Review and other pamphlets aimed at English opinion, claiming that it would end the threat from the north, gaining for the Treasury an "inexhaustible treasury of men", a valuable new market increasing the power of England. By September 1706, Harley ordered Defoe to Edinburgh as a secret agent to do everything possible to help secure acquiescence in the Treaty of Union. He was conscious of the risk to himself. Thanks to books such as The Letters of Daniel Defoe (edited by G. H. Healey, Oxford 1955), far more is known about his activities than is usual with such agents.
His first reports included vivid descriptions of violent demonstrations against the Union. "A Scots rabble is the worst of its kind", he reported. Years later John Clerk of Penicuik, a leading Unionist, wrote in his memoirs that it was not known at the time that Defoe had been sent by Godolphin :
Defoe was a Presbyterian who had suffered in England for his convictions, and as such he was accepted as an adviser to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and committees of the Parliament of Scotland. He told Harley that he was "privy to all their folly" but "Perfectly unsuspected as with corresponding with anybody in England". He was then able to influence the proposals that were put to Parliament and reported,
Having had the honour to be always sent for the committee to whom these amendments were referrèd,
I have had the good fortune to break their measures in two particulars via the bounty on Corn and
proportion of the Excise.
For Scotland, he used different arguments, even the opposite of those which he used in England, usually ignoring the English doctrine of the Sovereignty of Parliament, for example, telling the Scots that they could have complete confidence in the guarantees in the Treaty. Some of his pamphlets were purported to be written by Scots, misleading even reputable historians into quoting them as evidence of Scottish opinion of the time. The same is true of a massive history of the Union which Defoe published in 1709 and which some historians still treat as a valuable contemporary source for their own works. Defoe took pains to give his history an air of objectivity by giving some space to arguments against the Union but always having the last word for himself.
He disposed of the main Union opponent, Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun, by ignoring him. Nor does he account for the deviousness of the Duke of Hamilton, the official leader of the various factions opposed to the Union, who seemingly betrayed his former colleagues when he switched to the Unionist/Government side in the decisive final stages of the debate.
Defoe made no attempt to explain why the same Parliament of Scotland which was so vehement for its independence from 1703 to 1705 became so supine in 1706. He received very little reward from his paymasters and of course no recognition for his services by the government. He made use of his Scottish experience to write his Tour thro' the whole Island of Great Britain, published in 1726, where he admitted that the increase of trade and population in Scotland which he had predicted as a consequence of the Union was "not the case, but rather the contrary".
Defoe's description of Glasgow (Glaschu) as a "Dear Green Place" has often been misquoted as a Gaelic translation for the town's name. The Gaelic Glas could mean grey or green, while chu means dog or hollow. Glaschu probably means "Green Hollow". The "Dear Green Place", like much of Scotland, was a hotbed of unrest against the Union. The local Tron minister urged his congregation "to up and anent for the City of God".
The "Dear Green Place" and "City of God" required government troops to put down the rioters tearing up copies of the Treaty at almost every mercat cross in Scotland. When Defoe visited in the mid-1720s, he claimed that the hostility towards his party was "because they were English and because of the Union, which they were almost universally exclaimed against".
The extent and particulars are widely contested concerning Defoe's writing in the period from the Tory fall in 1714 to the publication of Robinson Crusoe in 1719. Defoe comments on the tendency to attribute tracts of uncertain authorship to him in his apologia Appeal to Honour and Justice (1715), a defence of his part in Harley's Tory ministry (1710–14). Other works that anticipate his novelistic career include The Family Instructor (1715), a conduct manual on religious duty; Minutes of the Negotiations of Monsr. Mesnager (1717), in which he impersonates Nicolas Mesnager, the French plenipotentiary who negotiated the Treaty of Utrecht (1713); and A Continuation of the Letters Writ by a Turkish Spy (1718), a satire of European politics and religion, ostensibly written by a Muslim in Paris.
From 1719 to 1724, Defoe published the novels for which he is famous (see below). In the final decade of his life, he also wrote conduct manuals, including Religious Courtship (1722), The Complete English Tradesman (1726) and The New Family Instructor (1727). He published a number of books decrying the breakdown of the social order, such as The Great Law of Subordination Considered (1724) and Everybody's Business is Nobody's Business (1725) and works on the supernatural, like The Political History of the Devil (1726), A System of Magick (1727) and An Essay on the History and Reality of Apparitions (1727). His works on foreign travel and trade include A General History of Discoveries and Improvements (1727) and Atlas Maritimus and Commercialis (1728). Perhaps his greatest achievement with the novels is the magisterial A tour thro' the whole island of Great Britain (1724–27), which provided a panoramic survey of British trade on the eve of the Industrial Revolution.
Published in 1726, The Complete English Tradesman is an example of Defoe's political works. He discusses the role of the tradesman in England in comparison to tradesmen internationally, arguing that the British system of trade is far superior. He also implies that trade is the backbone of the British economy: "estate's a pond, but trade's a spring." He praises the practicality of trade not only within the economy but the social stratification as well. Most of the British gentry, he argues is at one time or another inextricably linked with the institution of trade, either through personal experience, marriage or genealogy. Oftentimes younger members of noble families entered into trade. Marriage to a tradesman's daughter by a nobleman was also common. Overall Defoe demonstrated a high respect for tradesmen, being one himself.
Not only does Defoe elevate individual British tradesmen to the level of gentleman, but he praises the entirety of British trade as a superior system. Trade, Defoe argues is a much better catalyst for social and economic change than war. He states that through imperialism and trade expansion the British empire is able to "increase commerce at home" through job creation and increased consumption. He states that increased consumption, by laws of supply and demand, increases production and in turn raises wages for the poor therefore lifting part of British society further out of poverty.
Published in his late fifties, this novel relates the story of a man's shipwreck on a desert island for twenty-eight years and his subsequent adventures. Throughout its episodic narrative, Crusoe's struggles with faith are apparent as he bargains with God in times of life-threatening crises, but time and again he turns his back after his deliverances. He is finally content with his lot in life, separated from society, following a more genuine conversion experience. Usually read as fiction, a coincidence of background geography suggests that this may be non-fiction. In the opening pages of The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, the author describes how Crusoe settled in Bedford, married and produced a family, and that when his wife died, he went off on these further adventures. Bedford is also the place where the brother of "H. F." in A Journal of the Plague Year retired to avoid the danger of the plague, so that by implication, if these works were not fiction, Defoe's family met Crusoe in Bedford, from whence the information in these books was gathered. Defoe went to school in Stoke Newington, London, with a friend named Caruso.
The novel has been assumed to be based in part on the story of the Scottish castaway Alexander Selkirk, who spent four years stranded in the Juan Fernández Islands, but this experience is inconsistent with the details of the narrative. The island Selkirk lived on was named Más a Tierra (Closer to Land) at the time and was renamed Robinson Crusoe Island in 1966. It has been supposed that Defoe may have also been inspired by the Latin or English translation of a book by the Andalusian-Arab Muslim polymath Ibn Tufail, who was known as "Abubacer" in Europe. The Latin edition of the book was entitled Philosophus Autodidactus and it was an earlier novel that is also set on a deserted island.
Defoe's next novel was Captain Singleton (1720), an adventure story whose first half covers a traversal of Africa and whose second half taps into the contemporary fascination with piracy. It has been commended for its sensitive depiction of the close relationship between the hero and his religious mentor, Quaker William Walters.
A novel often read as non-fiction, this is an account of the Great Plague of London in 1665. It is undersigned by the initials "H. F.", suggesting the author's uncle Henry Foe as its primary source. It is an historical account of the events based on extensive research, published in 1722.
Bring out your dead! The ceaseless chant of doom echoed through a city of emptied streets and filled grave pits. For this was London in the year of 1665, the Year of the Great Plague … In 1721, when the Black Death again threatened the European Continent, Daniel Defoe wrote "A Journal of the Plague Year" to alert an indifferent populace to the horror that was almost upon them. Through the eyes of a saddler who had chosen to remain while multitudes fled, the master realist vividly depicted a plague-stricken city. He re-enacted the terror of a helpless people caught in a tragedy they could not comprehend: the weak preying on the dying, the strong administering to the sick, the sinful orgies of the cynical, the quiet faith of the pious. With dramatic insight he captured for all time the death throes of a great city.
— Back cover of the New American Library version of "A Journal of the Plague Year"; Signet Classic, 1960
Colonel Jack (1722) follows an orphaned boy from a life of poverty and crime to colonial prosperity, military and marital imbroglios, and religious conversion, driven by a problematic notion of becoming a "gentleman."
Also in 1722, Defoe wrote Moll Flanders, another first-person picaresque novel of the fall and eventual redemption, both material and spiritual, of a lone woman in 17th-century England. The titular heroine appears as a whore, bigamist, and thief, lives in The Mint, commits adultery and incest, and yet manages to retain the reader's sympathy. Her savvy manipulation of both men and wealth earns her a life of trials but ultimately an ending in reward. Although Moll struggles with the morality of some of her actions and decisions, religion seems to be far from her concerns throughout most of her story. However, like Robinson Crusoe, she finally repents. Moll Flanders is an important work in the development of the novel, as it challenged the common perception of femininity and gender roles in 18th-century British society, and it has come to be widely regarded as an example of erotica.
Moll Flanders and Defoe's final novel, Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress (1724), are examples of the remarkable way in which Defoe seems to inhabit his fictional characters (yet "drawn from life"), not least in that they are women. Roxana narrates the moral and spiritual decline of a high society courtesan. Roxana differs from other Defoe works because the main character does not exhibit a conversion experience, even though she claims to be a penitent later in her life, at the time that she's relaying her story.
Daniel Defoe died on 24 April 1731, probably while in hiding from his creditors. He often was in debtors' prison. The cause of his death was labelled as lethargy, but he probably experienced a stroke. He was interred in Bunhill Fields (today Bunhill Fields Burial and Gardens), Borough of Islington, London, where a monument was erected to his memory in 1870.
Defoe is known to have used at least 198 pen names.
A Journal of the Plague Year is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published in March 1722.
This novel is an account of one man's experiences of the year 1665, in which the Great Plague or the bubonic plague struck the city of London. The book is told somewhat chronologically, though without sections or chapter headings.
Presented as an eyewitness account of the events at the time, it was written in the years just prior to the book's first publication in March 1722. Defoe was only five years old in 1665, and the book itself was published under the initials H. F. and is probably based on the journals of Defoe's uncle, Henry Foe.
In the book, Defoe goes to great pains to achieve an effect of verisimilitude, identifying specific neighborhoods, streets, and even houses in which events took place. Additionally, it provides tables of casualty figures and discusses the credibility of various accounts and anecdotes received by the narrator.
The novel is often compared to the actual, contemporary accounts of the plague in the diary of Samuel Pepys. Defoe's account, which appears to include much research, is far more systematic and detailed than Pepys's first-person account.A tour thro' the whole island of Great Britain
A tour thro' the whole island of Great Britain is an account of his travels by English author Daniel Defoe, first published in three volumes between 1724 and 1727. Other than Robinson Crusoe, Tour was Defoe's most popular and financially successful work during the eighteenth century. Pat Rogers notes that in Defoe’s use of the “literary vehicle (the ‘tour’ or ‘circuit’) that could straddle the literal and the imaginative,” “Nothing...anticipated Defoe’s Tour”. Thanks in part to his extensive travels and colourful background as a soldier, businessman, and spy, Defoe had “hit on the best blend of objective fact and personal commentary” in his descriptions of locations and trips around Britain.An Essay Upon Projects
An Essay Upon Projects (1697) was the first volume published by Daniel Defoe. It begins with a portrait of his time as a "Projecting Age" and subsequently illustrates plans for the economic and social improvement of England, including an early proposal for a national insurance scheme.
Many of its issues were later revised in a series of pamphlets which were published under the nom-de-plume of Andrew Moreton. They are titled Every-body's Business, Is No-body's Business (1725), The Protestant Monastery (1726), Parochial Tyranny (1727), Augusta Triumphans (1728) and Second Thoughts are Best (1729). Compared to these works, however, An Essay Upon Projects is more focused on moral criticism than being project-oriented.Bunhill Fields
Bunhill Fields is a former burial ground in central London, in the London Borough of Islington, just north of the City of London boundary. The site is managed as a public garden by the City of London Corporation. It is about 1.6 hectares (4.0 acres) in extent, although historically it was much larger.
It was in use as a burial ground from 1665 until 1854, by which date approximately 123,000 interments were estimated to have taken place. Over 2,000 monuments remain. It was nondenominational, and in practice was particularly favoured by nonconformists. It contains the graves of many notable people, including John Bunyan (died 1688), author of The Pilgrim's Progress; Daniel Defoe (died 1731), author of Robinson Crusoe; William Blake (died 1827), artist, poet, and mystic; Susanna Wesley (died 1742), known as the "Mother of Methodism" through her education of sons John and Charles; Thomas Bayes (died 1761), statistician and philosopher; and Isaac Watts (died 1748), the "Father of English Hymnody".
Bunhill Fields is listed Grade I on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.On the far side of Bunhill Row, behind the residential tower Braithwaite House, is a Quaker burial ground, which was historically sometimes also known by the name Bunhill Fields and was in use from 1661 to 1855. George Fox (died 1691), one of the founders of the Quaker movement, was among those buried here. Its remains are a public garden, Quaker Gardens, managed by the London Borough of Islington.Colonel Jack
Colonel Jack is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published in 1722. The considerably longer title under which it was originally published is The History and Remarkable Life of the truly Honourable Col. Jacque, commonly call'd Col. Jack, who was Born a Gentleman, put 'Prentice to a Pick−Pocket, was Six and Twenty Years a Thief, and then Kidnapp'd to Virginia, Came back a Merchant; was Five times married to Four Whores; went into the Wars, behav'd bravely, got Preferment, was made Colonel of a Regiment, came over, and fled with the Chevalier, is still abroad compleating a Life of Wonders, and resolves to dye a General.
The picaresque novel can be considered as a crime fiction, along with some of Defoe's other works such as Moll Flanders (1722) and Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress (1724). It shares many plot elements and themes with Moll Flanders, the novels being published only eleven months apart. In common with many of Defoe's other works, Colonel Jack prominently tackles the subjects of money and crime.Conjugal Lewdness
The full original title of this 1727 essay by Daniel Defoe was "Conjugal Lewdness or, Matrimonial Whoredom", though he was later asked to rename it for the sake of propriety. The modified title became "A Treatise Concerning the Use and Abuse of the Marriage Bed".
The essay dealt primarily with contraception, comparing it directly with infanticide. Defoe accomplished this through anecdotes, such as a conversation between two women in which the right-minded chides the other for asking for "recipes" that might prevent pregnancy. In the essay, he further referred to contraception as "the diabolical practice of attempting to prevent childbearing by physical preparations."Daily Post (London newspaper)
The Daily Post (1719-1771). was a London daily paper begun on October 24, 1719 by printer Hugh Meres in the Old Bailey, near Ludgate, with contributions from writer Daniel Defoe. It was later printed by John Meres (a relation of Hugh Meres); Meres also became printer of the London Evening Post by 1737.The Post consisted of articles that spoke of current events, important dates, inventions, advances in modern sciences, and other things of that nature. It lasted until 1771.Llandoger Trow
The Llandoger Trow is a historic public house in Bristol, south-west England. Dating from 1664, it is on King Street, between Welsh Back and Queen Charlotte Street, near the old city centre docks. Named by a sailor who owned the pub after Llandogo which built trows, the building was damaged in World War II, but remained in sufficiently good condition to be designated Grade II* listed building status in 1959. The pub is said to have inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write of the Admiral Benbow Inn in Treasure Island and Daniel Defoe supposedly met Alexander Selkirk there, his inspiration for Robinson Crusoe. The pub is also supposedly haunted, with up to 15 ghosts, the best known being a small child whose footsteps can be heard on the top floor.Memoirs of a Cavalier
Memoirs of a Cavalier (1720) is a work of historical fiction by Daniel Defoe, set during the Thirty Years' War and the English Civil Wars. The full title, which bore no date, was:
Memoirs of a Cavalier; or A Military Journal of the Wars in Germany, and the Wars in England. From the Years 1632 to 1648. Written threescore years ago, by an English gentleman, who served first in the army of Gustavus Adolphus, the Glorious King of Sweden, till his death, and after that in the Royal Army of King Charles the First, from the beginning of the Rebellion to the end of the War.Mere Nature Delineated
Mere Nature Delineated is a pamphlet by Daniel Defoe, first published in 1726. The longer title under which it was originally published is Mere nature delineated: or, A body without a soul. Being observations upon the young forester lately brought to town from Germany. With suitable applications. Also, a brief dissertation upon the usefulness and necessity of fools, whether political or natural.
The title and primary subject of the work is Peter the Wild Boy, a feral child who was brought to the court of George I in Great Britain in 1726. His uncivilized behaviour aroused considerable public interest, and Defoe was one of many writers who contributed to the debate about what the boy's condition meant for how the human subject should be considered. The pamphlet also broaches out to discuss the subject of 'fools' across Europe.Moll Flanders
Moll Flanders is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published in 1722. It purports to be the true account of the life of the eponymous Moll, detailing her exploits from birth until old age.
By 1721, Defoe had become a recognised novelist, with the success of Robinson Crusoe in 1719. His political work was tapering off at this point, due to the fall of both Whig and Tory party leaders with whom he had been associated; Robert Walpole was beginning his rise, and Defoe was never fully at home with the Walpole group. Defoe's Whig views are nevertheless evident in the story of Moll, and the novel's full title gives some insight into this and the outline of the plot:It is usually assumed that the novel was written by Daniel Defoe, and his name is commonly given as the author in modern printings of the novel. However, the original printing did not have an author, as it was an apparent autobiography. The attribution of Moll Flanders to Defoe was made by bookseller Francis Noble in 1770, after Defoe's death in 1731.The novel is based partially on the life of Moll King, a London criminal whom Defoe met while visiting Newgate Prison.Robinson Crusoe
The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un-inhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself. With An Account how he was at last as strangely deliver'd by Pyrates, commonly known as Robinson Crusoe, () is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published on 25 April 1719. The first edition credited the work's protagonist Robinson Crusoe as its author, leading many readers to believe he was a real person and the book a travelogue of true incidents.Epistolary, confessional, and didactic in form, the book is presented as an autobiography of the title character (whose birth name is Robinson Kreutznaer)—a castaway who spends 28 years on a remote tropical desert island near Trinidad, encountering cannibals, captives, and mutineers, before ultimately being rescued. The story has been thought to be based on the life of Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish castaway who lived for four years on a Pacific island called "Más a Tierra", now part of Chile, which was renamed Robinson Crusoe Island in 1966.Despite its simple narrative style, Robinson Crusoe was well received in the literary world and is often credited as marking the beginning of realistic fiction as a literary genre. It is generally seen as a contender for the first English novel. Before the end of 1719, the book had already run through four editions, and it has gone on to become one of the most widely published books in history, spawning so many imitations, not only in literature but also in film, television and radio, that its name is used to define a genre, the Robinsonade.Serious Reflections of Robinson Crusoe
Serious Reflections During the Life and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe: With his Vision of the Angelick World is the third book featuring the character of Robinson Crusoe and the sequel to The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. Unlike the previous two volumes, it is not a work of narrative fiction. Rather, it consists of a series of essays written in the voice of the character Robinson Crusoe.The Consolidator
The Consolidator is a fictional adventure by Daniel Defoe.The Consolidator is a fictional adventure by Daniel Defoe.The King of Pirates
The King of Pirates is a fictional adventure by Daniel Defoe. It is one of the author's more obscure fictional books.The Political History of the Devil
The Political History of the Devil is a 1726 book by Daniel Defoe.General scholarly opinion is that Defoe really did think of the Devil as a participant in world history. He spends some time discussing John Milton's Paradise Lost and explaining why he considers it inaccurate.
His view is that of an 18th-century Presbyterian – he blames the Devil for the Crusades and sees him as close to Europe's Catholic powers.The Shortest Way with the Dissenters
The Shortest-Way with the Dissenters; Or, Proposals for the Establishment of the Church is a pamphlet by Daniel Defoe, first published in 1702. Defoe was prompted to write the pamphlet by the increased hostility towards Dissenters in the wake of the accession of Queen Anne to the throne.
It is written in the same style as the Tory publications that attacked Dissenters, and was assumed by some people to be a genuine vindication of their view. The pamphlet raised embarrassing questions about the handling of the issue by the Tory ministry, and led to Defoe's arrest for seditious libel. His imprisonment, during which he fell into bankruptcy, was to have a lasting influence on his subsequent writings. In the years after his release, Defoe published several pamphlets that attempted to explain its purpose and his own views.The Storm (Daniel Defoe)
The Storm (1704) is a work of journalism and science reporting by British author Daniel Defoe. It has been called the first substantial work of modern journalism, the first detailed account of a hurricane in Britain. It relates the events of a week-long storm that hit London starting on 24 November and reaching its height on the night of 26/27 November 1703. Known as the Great Storm of 1703, and described by Defoe as "The Greatest, the Longest in Duration, the widest in Extent, of all the Tempests and Storms that History gives any Account of since the Beginning of Time." The book was published by John Nutt in mid-1704. It was not a best seller, and a planned sequel never materialised.Within a week of the storm Defoe placed newspaper ads asking readers to submit personal accounts, of which about sixty were selected and edited by Defoe for the book. This was an innovative method for the time before journalism that relied on first-hand reports was commonplace. Defoe considered the accounts reliable because "most of our Relators have not only given us their Names, and sign'd the Accounts they have sent, but have also given us Leave to hand their Names down to Posterity." The Storm has thus been called the first substantial work of modern journalism.Defoe described the storm as "the tempest that destroyed woods and forests all over England". He wrote: "No pen could describe it, nor tongue express it, nor thought conceive it unless by one in the extremity of it." Coastal towns such as Portsmouth "looked as if the enemy had sackt them and were most miserably torn to pieces". He thought the destruction of the sovereign fleet, in which about one-fifth of the navy was lost, was a punishment for their poor performance against the Catholic armies of France and Spain during the first year of the War of the Spanish Succession."Most People expected the Fall of their Houses," wrote Defoe. Even so, they judged it safer to stay put than to seek new shelter: "Whatever the Danger was within doors, 'twas worse without; the Bricks, Tiles, and Stones, from the Tops of the Houses, flew with such force, and so thick in the Streets, that no one thought fit to venture out, tho' their Houses were near demolish'd within." Some of the first-hand accounts include that of Elizabeth Luck from Tunbridge Wells, who reported hundreds of trees fell down, a church lost its steeple, and two horses perished beneath a smashed stable. One Rev. James King of London told of a chimney that crashed through a house and buried a maid who was thought crushed dead, but then appeared the next morning from the rubble unharmed. Thomas Powell, a shopkeeper in Deal, was so appalled when his neighbors did not help rescue stranded sailors on a sand bar, he paid them five shillings for each rescued sailor; Defoe credited him with saving 200 lives. Defoe recounts another story of the captain of a ship who committed suicide rather than drown, only to have his ship rescued but too late for him.Whitehall Evening Post
The Whitehall Evening Post was a London newspaper, founded in 1718.
The newspaper was started in September 1718 by Daniel Defoe; and was then published on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Defoe left it in June 1720, but it continued to exist until the end of the century. It closed in 1801, with issue 8487 and was merged with the English Chronicle.Its editors included Thomas Leach, and finally Stephen Jones.