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Daniel Defoe ( 1660 – 24 April 1731) born Daniel Foe, was an English trader, writer, journalist, pamphleteer, and spy, most famous for his novel Robinson Crusoe. Defoe is noted for being one of the earliest proponents of the novel, as he helped to popularise the form in Britain with others such as Samuel Richardson, and is among the founders of the English novel. He was a prolific and versatile writer, producing more than five hundred books, pamphlets, and journals on various topics, including politics, crime, religion, marriage, psychology, and the supernatural. The founder of the English novel.
Daniel Foe Daniel Defoe Born Daniel Foe 1659–1660 London, England Died 24 April 1731 (aged 70-72) London, England Occupation Writer, journalist, merchant Genre Adventure
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 1659–1662, with 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 next year, theGreat 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 that he was about ten. Early life
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. In 1684, Defoe married Mary Tuffley, 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. Defoe married Mary Tuffley
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 (and his civets were seized), though his total debts may have amounted to £17,000. Following his release, he probably travelled in Europe 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, Essex and lived in the parish ofChadwell St Mary. Business career
Defoe's novel Robinson Crusoe (1719) relates the story of a man's shipwreck on a desert island for thirty years and his subsequent adventures. Usually read as fiction, a coincidence of background geography suggests that this may be non-fiction. In the opening pages of The Further 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. of the Scottish castaway Alexander Selkirk, who spent four years stranded in theJuan Fernández Islands, but this 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. Robinson Crusoe
Defoe's writing is always with an astonishing concern for circumstantial detail.
Robinson Crusoe (1719) The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1719) Serious reflections during the life and surprising adventures of Robinson Crusoe: with his Vision of the angelick world (1720) Memoirs of a Cavalier (1720) Captain Singleton (1720) A Journal of the Plague Year (1722) Colonel Jack (1722) Moll Flanders (1722) Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress (1724) Novels
An Essay Upon Projects (1697) The Storm (1704) - a description of the worst storm ever to hit Britain in recorded times, including eyewitness accounts. The Consolidator or, Memoirs of Sundry Transactions from the World in the Moon (1705) Atlantis Major (1711) The Family Instructor (1715) Memoirs of the Church of Scotland (1717) The History Of The Remarkable Life of John Sheppard (1724) - describing Sheppard's life of crime and concluding with the miraculous escapes from prison for which he had become a public sensation. A Narrative Of All The Robberies, Escapes, &c. of John Sheppard (1724) – written by or taken from Jack Sheppard himself in the condemned cell before he was hanged for theft, apparently by way of conclusion to the Defoe work. A tour thro' the whole island of Great Britain, divided into circuits or journies (1724–1727) The Political History of the Devil (1726) Non-fiction
The Shortest Way with the Dissenters (1702) The Great Law of Subordination Consider'd (1704) Every-body's Business, Is No-body's Business (1725) The Protestant Monastery (1726) Parochial Tyranny (1727) Augusta Triumphans (1728) Second Thoughts are Best (1729) Serious Reflections of Robinson Crusoe (1720) The Complete English Tradesman (1726) An Essay Upon Literature (1726) Mere Nature Delineated (1726) Conjugal Lewdness (1727) A Plan of the English Commerce (1728) Essays
Memorial to Daniel Defoe Memorial to "Daniel De-Foe", Bunhill Fields, City Road, Borough of Islington, London.
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