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.
His book might almost be called the "Visions of Peter Bartholomew and others," and it is written in the plain matter-of-fact manner of Defoe's narratives.
Defoe's Review (1704-1713) dealt chiefly with politics and commerce, but the introduction in it of what its editor fittingly termed the "scandalous club " was another step nearer the papers of Steele and the periodical essayists, the first attempts to create an organized popular opinion in matters of taste and manners.
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.
Foe, de Foe and Daniel Defoe.
With few exceptions all the known events of Defoe's life are connected with authorship. In the older catalogues of his works two pamphlets, Speculum Crapegownorum, a satire on the clergy, and A Treatise against the Turks, are attributed to him before the accession of James II., but there seems to be no publication of his which is certainly genuine before The Character of Dr Annesley (1697).
The course of Defoe's life was determined about the middle of the reign of William III.
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 theory of the indefeasible supremacy of the freeholders of England, whose delegates merely, according to this theory, the Commons were, was one of Defoe's favourite political tenets, and he returned to it in a powerfully written tract entitled The Original Power of the Collective Bcdy of the People of England examined and asserted (1701).
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.
Defoe's next work was Jure divino, a long poetical argument in (bad) verse; and soon afterwards (1706) he began to be much employed in promoting the union with Scotland.
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.
Before these letters were discovered it was supposed that Defoe's political work had ended in 1715.
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.
Its connexion with the two former parts is little more than nominal, Crusoe being simply made the mouth-piece of Defoe's sentiments on various points of morals and religion.
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.
Selkirk afterwards told Mrs Daniel that he had handed over his papers to Defoe.
A curious idea, at one time revived by Henry Kingsley, is that the adventures of Robinson are allegorical and relate to Defoe's own life.
This idea was certainly entertained to some extent at the time, and derives some colour of justification from words of Defoe's, but there seems to be no serious foundation for it.
Crusoe's shipwreck and adventures, his finding the footprint in the sand, his man "Friday," - the whole atmosphere of romance which surrounds the position of the civilized man fending for himself on a desert island - these have made Defoe's great work an imperishable part of English literature.
There are amusing passages in the;story, but it is too desultory to rank with Defoe's best.
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.
In estimating this wonderful productiveness on the part of a man sixty years old, it should be remembered that it was a habit of Defoe's to keep his work in manuscript sometimes for long periods.
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.
It is only fair to notice that while the latter, according to Defoe's more usual practice, is allowed to repent and end happily, Roxana is brought to complete misery; Defoe's morality, therefore, required more repulsiveness in one case than in the other.
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.
The Life of Mother Ross, reprinted in Bohn's edition, has no claim whatever to be considered Defoe's.
There is little to be said of Defoe's private life during this period.
There is a good deal of mystery about the end of Defoe's life; it used to be said that he died insolvent, and that he had been in jail shortly before his death.
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."
Defoe married, on New Year's Day, 1684, Mary Tuffley, who survived until December 1732.
In April 1877 public attention was called to the distress of three maiden ladies, directly descended from Defoe, and bearing his name; and a crown pension of X75 a year was bestowed on each of them.
There are several portraits of Defoe, the principal one being engraved by Vandergucht.
In his lifetime, Defoe, as not belonging to either of the great parties at a time of the bitterest party strife, was subjected to obloquy on both sides.
Pope, with less excuse, put him in the Dunciad towards the end of his life, but he confessed to Spence in private that Defoe had written many things and none bad.
From Sir Walter Scott downwards the tendency to judge literary work on its own merits to a great extent restored Defoe to his proper place, or, to speak more correctly, set him there for the first time.
Scott justly observed that Defoe's style "is the last which should be attempted by a writer of inferior genius; for though it be possible to disguise mediocrity by fine writing, it appears in all its naked inanity when it assumes the garb of simplicity."
The methods by which Defoe attains his result are not difficult to disengage.
Defoe possessed genius, and his secret is at the last as impalpable as the secret of genius always is.
The character of Defoe, both mental and moral, is very clearly indicated in his works.
But Amy, scarcely by her own fault, is drawn into certain breaches of definite moral laws which Defoe did understand, and she is therefore condemned, with hardly a word of pity, to a miserable end.
There is often a great deal to be said against the view presented in those pamphlets, but Defoe sees nothing of it.
The earliest regular life and estimate of Defoe is that of Dr Towers in the Biographia Britannica.
In 1859 appeared a life of Defoe by William Chadwick, an extraordinary rhapsody in a style which is half Cobbett and half Carlyle, but amusing, and by no means devoid of acuteness.
The second and third contain fugitive writings assigned by Lee to Defoe for the first time.
For most of these, however, we have no authority but Lee's own impressions of style, &c.; and consequently, though the best qualified judges will in most cases agree that Defoe may very likely have written them, it cannot positively be stated that he did.
The Earlier Life and Chief Earlier Works of Defoe (1890) was included by Henry Morley in the "Carisbrooke Library."
The volume on Defoe (1879) in the "English Men of Letters" series is by W.
There is considerable uncertainty about many of Defoe's writings; and even if all contested works be excluded, the number is still enormous.
In 1870 Nimmo of Edinburgh published in one volume an admirable selection from Defoe.
An edition of Defoe's Romances and Narratives in sixteen volumes by G.
If we turn to separate works, the bibliography of Defoe is practically confined (except as far as original editions are concerned) to Robinson Crusoe.
Saintsbury, "Introduction" to Defoe's Minor Novels; and valuable notes by G.
Btilbring edited two unpublished works of Defoe, The Compleat English Gentleman (London, 1890) and Of Royall Education (London, 1905), from British Museum Add.
Further light was thrown on Defoe's work as a political agent by the discovery (1906) of an unpublished paper of his in the British Museum by G.
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.
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.
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."
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.
Greenhill, p. 96 (London, 2844); Collection of Scarce Pieces on the Plague in 1665 (London, 1721), 8vo; Defoe's fascinating Journal of a Citizen, which should be read and admired as a fiction, but accepted with caution as history; T.
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.
Defoe, Tour through the whole Island of Great Britain.
Defoe writing in 1724-1727 mentions the recent improvements in the Bedfordshire bone-lace manufacture.
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.
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.
Defoe, in 1724 complained " that the Northern Road from London was perfectly frightful to travelers.
thus miscellaneous works by Milton, Dryden, Defoe and Swift, among others, were excluded by the corpus team.
Liverpool will purchase Kuyt and Defoe and also offload Morientes with Cisse.
On this occasion Straddling quarrelled with Alexander Selkirk, who, at his own request, became the island's most famous colonist, for his adventures are commonly believed to have inspired Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe.
Defoe maintained that the dissenters who attended the services of the English Church on particular occasions to qualify themselves for office were guilty of inconsistency.
It was in reference to this incident that Pope, whose Catholic rearing made him detest the abettor of the Revolution and the champion of William of Orange, wrote in the Dunciad- "Earless on high stands unabash'd Defoe" - though he knew that the sentence to the pillory had long ceased to entail the loss of ears.
Defoe's exposure in the pillory (July 29, 30, 31) was, however, rather a triumph than a punishment, for the populace took his side; and his Hymn to the Pillory, which he soon after published, is one of the best of his poetical works.
The only one of them perhaps which requires notice is Religious Courtship (1722), a curious series of dialogues displaying Defoe's unaffected religiosity, and at the same time the rather meddling intrusiveness with which he applied his religious notions.
Nothing heroic or romantic was within Defoe's view; he could not understand passionate love, ideal loyalty, aesthetic admiration or anything of the kind; and it is probable that many of the little sordid touches which delight us by their apparent satire were, as designed, not satire at all, but merely a faithful representation of the feelings and ideas of the classes of which he himself was a unit.
In 1830 Walter Wilson wrote the standard Life (3 vols.); it is coloured by political prejudice, but is a model of painstaking care, and by its abundant citations from works both of Defoe and of others, which are practically inaccessible to the general reader, is invaluable.
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).
When Daniel Defoe heard how Selkirk had lived alone on the island of Juan Fernandez, he said to himself: Here is something worth telling about.
This is the story which Mr. Defoe wrote.
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