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Daniel Defoe

Daniel Defoe, born Daniel Foe, was an English trader, writer, journalist, pamphleteer, and spy, now most famous for his novel Robinson Crusoe

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Daniel Defoe

  2. 2. Early Life  Born to James and Alice Foe of London in 1660  James Foe was a butcher.  Defoe studied at Charles Morton's Academy in London.  Defoe married Mary Tuffley in 1684, the daughter of a London merchant  He was possibly a merchant in Spain from 1678 to 1683.  Defoe was part of the Duke of Monmouth‟s failed rebellion against King James II, a Catholic king.
  3. 3. EDUCATION  Daniel was unable to attend such traditional and prestigious schools as Oxford and Cambridge.  Defoe's education began in the Rev. James Fisher's school in Dorking, and later, at about the age of fourteen, he was enrolled in the Dissenting academy in Newington Green.
  4. 4. Writing Career  Defoe began writing anonymously in the 1680s.  He mostly wrote political essays.  Defoe‟s first success came in the form of a satire, „The True-Born Englishman‟ in 1701.  Defoe was imprisoned in 1703 for his satire, “The Shortest Way with Dissenters”, an essay in which he uses an ironic voice to depict a religious zealot intent on eradicating dissenters.
  5. 5.  Defoe was released from prison because of his talent as a writer. He agreed to write propaganda for Robert Harley, a member of parliament.  He also became an intelligence agent, a line of work that he continued after the Tories fell from power and the Whigs rose.  He continued to write essays while he published The Review from 1704 to 1713.  He changed his name from Foe to Defoe in 1703.
  6. 6. Business career  His father wanted him to become a minister.  He gave up this dream and went into business.  In 1683, he went into business having given up an earlier intent on becoming a dissenting minister. He traveled often, selling such goods as wine and wool, but was rarely out of debt.  He went bankrupt in 1692  In 1703 decided to leave the business industry altogether.
  7. 7. Defoe the Novelist  Defoe became on of England‟s most important early novelists when he moved away from essays and published Robinson Crusoe in 1719.  Defoe wrote many novels in the same format as Robinson Crusoe in the five years after it was published.  He had written over 400 pamphlets and books.
  8. 8. Famous Books: Robinson Crusoe:  Defoe's novel Robinson Crusoe (1719) tells of a man's shipwreck on a deserted island and his subsequent adventures. The author based part of his narrative on the story of the Scottish castaway Alexander Selkirk, who spent four years stranded on the island of Juan Fernandez. Captain Singleton:  Defoe's next novel was Captain Singleton (1720), a bipartite 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 eponymous hero and his religious mentor, the Quaker William Walters. Memoirs of a Cavalier:  Later, Defoe wrote Memoirs of a Cavalier (1720), set during the Thirty Years' War and the English Civil War.
  9. 9. Colonel Jack:  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." Moll Flanders and Roxana:  Also in 1722, Defoe wrote Moll Flanders, another first-person picaresque novel of the fall and eventual redemption 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.
  10. 10. Other Novels  The Shortest Way with the Dissenters-1702  1720 – Memoirs of a Cavalier  1722 – Journal of the Plague Year  1722 – Moll Flanders  The Complete English Tradesman-1726  The Pirate Gow-1725  1724-1727 - Tour thro‟ the Whole Island of Great Britain
  11. 11. Death  Died in April 24, 1731  He was buried in Bunhill Fields, London, where his grave can still be visited

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Daniel Defoe, born Daniel Foe, was an English trader, writer, journalist, pamphleteer, and spy, now most famous for his novel Robinson Crusoe


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