In studying the economic history of the 18th century, for example, it is not enough to assume with Defoe that " gain is the design of merchandise."
At the time of his visit Daniel Defoe found thread-making in vogue, which employed the women while the men were at sea.
DANIEL DEFOE (c. 1659-1731), English author, was born in the parish of St Giles, Cripplegate, London, in the latter part of 1659 or early in 1660, of a nonconformist family.
As to the variation of name, Defoe or Foe, its owner signed either indifferently till late in life, and where his initials occur they are sometimes D.
In the same year Defoe wrote the first of a long series of pamphlets on the then burning question of occasional conformity.
But his most remarkable publication at this time was The True-Born Englishman (1701), a satire in rough but extremely vigorous verse on the national objection to William as a foreigner, and on the claim of purity of blood for a nation which Defoe chooses to represent as crossed and dashed with all the strains and races in Europe.
The death of William was a great misfortune to Defoe, and he soon felt the power of his adversaries.
In this conjuncture Defoe had really no friends, for the dissenters were as much alarmed at his book as the high-flyers were irritated.
Defoe was uniformly grateful to the minister, and his language respecting him is in curious variance with that generally used.
There is no doubt that Harley, who understood the influence wielded by Defoe, made some conditions.
Defoe says he received no pension, but his subsequent fidelity was at all events indirectly rewarded; moreover, Harley's moderation in a time of the extremest party-insanity was no little recommendation to Defoe.
It was entirely written by Defoe, and extends to eight complete volumes and some few score numbers of a second issue.
After his release Defoe went to Bury St Edmunds, though he did not interrupt either his Review or his occasional pamphlets.
In 1705 appeared The Consolidator, or Memoirs of Sundry Transactions from the World in the Moon, a political satire which is supposed to have given some hints for Swift's Gulliver's Travels; and at the end of the year Defoe performed a secret mission, the first of several of the kind, for Harley.
In this year Henry Sacheverell delivered his famous sermons, and Defoe wrote several tracts about them and attacked the preacher in his Review.
In 1710 Harley returned to power, and Defoe was placed in a somewhat awkward position.
In the negotiations concerning the Peace of Utrecht, Defoe strongly supported the ministerial side, to the intense wrath of the Whigs, displayed in an attempted prosecution against some pamphlets of his on the all-important question of the succession.
Defoe declared that Lord Annesley was preparing the army in Ireland to join a Jacobite rebellion, and was indicted for libel; and prior to his trial (1715) he published an apologia entitled An Appeal to Honour and Justice, in which he defended his political conduct.
Having been convicted of the libel he was liberated later in the year under circumstances that only became clear in 1864, when six letters were discovered in the Record Office from Defoe to a Government official, Charles Delaf aye, which, according to William Lee, established the fact that in 1718 at least Defoe was doing not only political work, but that it was of a somewhat equivocal kind - that he was, in fact, sub-editing the Jacobite Mist's Journal, under a secret agreement with the government that he should tone down the sentiments and omit objectionable items. He had, in fact, been released on condition of becoming a government agent.
Up to that time Defoe had written nothing but occasional literature, and, except the History of the Union and Jure Divino, nothing of any great length.
The story was founded on Dempier's Voyage round the World (1697), and still more on Alexander Selkirk's adventures, as communicated by Selkirk himself at a meeting with Defoe at the house of Mrs Damaris Daniel at Bristol.
It is probable that Defoe, with his extensive acquaintance with English history, and his astonishing power of working up details, was fully equal to the task of inventing it.
There is also a Quaker who plays a very creditable part in Roxana (1724), and Defoe seems to have been well affected to the Friends.
Moll Flanders and The Fortunate Mistress (Roxana), which followed in 1724, have subjects of a rather more than questionable character, but both display the remarkable art with which Defoe handles such subjects.
But a great part of the book, especially the latter portion, is dull; and in fact it may be generally remarked of Defoe that the conclusions of his tales are not equal to the beginning, perhaps from the restless indefatigability with which he undertook one work almost before finishing another.
The pamphlet on the first of these Defoe maintained to be a transcript of a paper which he persuaded Sheppard to give to a friend at his execution.
Much of the information in this was derived from personal experience, for Defoe claims to have made many more tours and visits about England than those of which we have record; but the major part must necessarily have been dexterous compilation.
In 1726 Defoe published a curious and amusing little pamphlet entitled Everybody's Business is Nobody's Business, or Private Abuses Public Grievances, exemplified in the Pride, Insolence, and Exorbitant Wages of our Women-Servants, Footmen, &c. This subject was a favourite one with him, and in the pamphlet he showed the immaturity of his political views by advocating legislative interference in these matters.
But there are no reasons for thinking the performance ironical or insincere, and it cannot be doubted that Defoe would have been honestly unable even to understand Lamb's indignation.
During the years from 1 715 to 1728 Defoe had issued pamphlets and minor works too numerous to mention.
The Memoirs of Captain Carleton (1728) were long attributed to Defoe, but the internal evidence is strongly against his authorship. They have been also attributed to Swift, with greater probability VII.
In the 18th century Dunfermline impressed Daniel Defoe as showing the "full perfection of decay," but it is now one of the most prosperous towns in Scotland.
Political writing is at its best from Halifax to Cobbett, and its three greatest names are perhaps Swift, Junius and Burke, though Steele, Defoe, Bolingbroke and Dr Johnson are not far behind, while Cannings contributions to the A4nti-Jacobin and Gillrays caricatures require mention.
Defoe writing in 1724-1727 mentions the recent improvements in the Bedfordshire bone-lace manufacture.
Defoe, Tour through the whole Island of Great Britain.
The picture drawn may be a caricature, or a misrepresentation of the fact - as that of the father of Demosthenes, " blear-eyed with the soot of the glowing mass," &c. - but it is, with rare exceptions, realistically conceived, and it is brought before us with the vivid touches of a Defoe or a Swift, or of the great pictorial satirist of the 18th century, Hogarth.
Among eminent persons interred here are John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe, Susanna, mother of John and Charles Wesley, and George Fox, founder of the Society of Friends.
Blome in 1673 speaks of Warrington market as an important one "for linen cloth, corn, cattle, provisions and fish, being much resorted to by the Welshmen," and in 1730 Defoe says the market was especially famous for "a sort of table linen called Huk-a-back or Huk-abuk."
Gracian was punished for publishing without his superior's permission El Criticon (in which Defoe is alleged to have found the germ of Robinson Crusoe); but no objection was taken to its substance.
It has been said that Daniel Defoe wrote his fiction of Mrs Veal (A True Relation of the Apparition of Mrs Veal), who came from the other world to recommend the perusal of Drelincourt on Death, for the express purpose of promoting the sale of an English translation of the Consolations; Defoe's contribution is added to the fourth edition of the translation (1706).
Besides biogra p hical sketches of Defoe, Sir John Davies, Allan Ramsay, Sir David Lyndsay, Churchyard and others, prefixed to editions of their respective works, Chalmers wrote a life of Thomas Paine, the author of the Rights of Man, which he published under the assumed name of Francis Oldys, A.M., of the University of Pennsylvania; and a life of Ruddiman, in which considerable light is thrown on the state of literature in Scotland during the earlier part of the last century.
It is most likely that Mist had found out that Defoe was a government agent and quite probable that he communicated his knowledge to other editors, for Defoe's journalistic employment almost ceased about this time, and he began to write anonymously, or as "Andrew Moreton."