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About Daniel Defoe

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Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) was an English novelist and journalist, who wrote Robinson Crusoe in 1719, which was greatly influential in the development of the novel.

An active pamphleteer and political critic, he was imprisoned 1702-1704 following publication of the ironic The Shortest Way With Dissenters. Fictional works include Moll Flanders 1722 and A Journal of the Plague Year in 1724. Altogether he produced over 500 books, pamphlets, and journals.

Born in Cripplegate, the son of a butcher, James Foe, Defoe was educated for the Nonconformist ministry, but became a hosier. He took part in Monmouth's rebellion, and joined William of Orange in 1688. After his business had failed, he held a civil-service post 1695-1699.

He wrote numerous pamphlets, and first achieved fame with the satire The True-Born Englishman 1701, followed in 1702 by the ironic The Shortest Way with Dissenters, for which he was fined, imprisoned, and pilloried. In Newgate he wrote his 'Hymn to the Pillory' and started a paper, The Review 1704-1713.

Released in 1704, he travelled in Scotland 1706-1707, working to promote the Union, and published A History of the Union in 1709. During the next ten years he was almost constantly employed as a political controversialist and pamphleteer. His version of the contemporary short story "True Relation of the Apparition of one Mrs Veal" in 1706 had revealed a gift for realistic narrative, and Robinson Crusoe, based on the story of Alexander Selkirk, appeared in 1719. It was followed among others by the pirate story Captain Singleton in 1720, and the picaresque Colonel Jack in 1722 and Roxana in 1724.

Tags: novelist, journalist, writer, pamphlets

Category: Others  - ( Others Archive)

Date Added: 23 December '11

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