Daniel Defoe By Martin Anderson And Logan Hinderliter
Early Life • Born to James and Alice Foe of London in 1660 • James Foe was a butcher. • The Foes were dissenting Protestants, Protestants that didn’t belong to the Church of England. • Defoe studied at Charles Morton's Academy in London. • His father wanted him to become a minister. • He gave up this dream and went into business.
Early Life Continued • Defoe married Mary Tuffley in 1684. • 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. • In 1692, Defoe declares bankruptcy after going to debtors prison.
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.
Writing Career Continued • 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.
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.
Robinson Crusoe • Defoe’s life experiences influenced his novel, Robinson Crusoe. • Crusoe lives by his religion, and by rational thought. • He does what is practical, he gathers food and creates a shelter. • He also takes in Friday, a cannibal, who he reasons, only eats other people because he doesn’t know any better. • Crusoe, with his progressive views, didn’t condemn Friday as a savage. Instead, he takes him in and teaches him Christian values. • These traits were present in Defoe as well, he was religious and progressive.
Other Novels • 1720 – Memoirs of a Cavalier • 1722 – Journal of the Plague Year • 1722 – Moll Flanders • 1724 – Roxana • These were mostly first person accounts from extraordinary people. • 1724-1727 - Tour thro’ the Whole Island of Great Britain • This was an economic survey of England and Scotland.
End of Career and Death • Defoe continued his intelligence career while he wrote. • Defoe abandoned his home and family in 1729 to disappear into London. • Defoe died on April 26, 1731 . • He had written over 400 pamphlets and books.
Bibliography • "Defoe, Daniel." British Authors Before 1800. 1952. Biography Reference Bank. H. W. Wilson. MASH Media Center, Meadville, PA. 27 May 2009 <http://vnweb.hwwilsonweb.com/. • "Defoe, Daniel." Encyclopedia of British Writers, 18th Century. 2005. Bloom's Literary Reference Online. Facts On File. MASH Media Center. 27 May 2009 <http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE54&SID=5&iPin= EBWXVIII104&SingleRecord=True>. • Liukkonen, Petri. "Daniel Defoe." Books and Writers. 2008. Net Trekker. MASH Media Center. 27 May 2009 <http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/defoe.htm>.