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A prolific journalist and pamphleteer, Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) is best remembered for his contribution to the English novel, with works such as Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders considered pioneers of their genre.
Not necessarily an easy read, but a fascinating, sad and rather tragic story. Written as Moll Flander's autobiography, it was originally published anonymously with Dafoe only being linked to the novel after his death. Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.
The Essay upon Projects was written during the years immediately following two of Defoe's serious brushed with the law. In 1692, #17,000 in debt, he was declared bankrupt. After a brief imprisonment and during the time he subsequently spent hiding from authorities and creditors, he began work on various projects which he thought would make England a better nation and, were they approved and acted upon by the government, bring him fame and fortune. Composed piecemeal, the Essay offers a wide ranging series of proposals for radical social reform, while attempting to gain some dignity for what Defoe called, in another context, the despicable art of projecting. Among Defoe's schemes, predictable enough, was a project for the reform of his nation's bankruptcy laws, a project over which Defoe, in his own words, waxed hot . Five years after he began it, Defoe published the work. By 1697, he had righted himself publicly and financially, having served as Accomptant to the Commissioners of the Glass Duty in King William's government and having profited from his brick and tile factory in Tilbury. The work represents new beginnings for Defoe as a political and literary figure, new assertions of principles, new ventures on public terrain. At its most utopian, it was an effort at charting a new future for England - a combination of social engineering and economic scheming. It is a commonplace to say of science fiction that while purporting to be about other worlds and often about future time, it is invariable about our present life on earth. Similarly, it may be said of An Essay upon Projects that although Defoe's work treated future projects and possibilities, they were very much rooted in the events of the recent past and the present. Read against the swarm of proposals published during the 1690s (usually in pamphlet form), the text seems thoroughly rooted in the efforts at attempting to solve the economic problems of the late-17th century. On the other hand, Defoe enjoyed assuming the role of a prophet, and if some of his schemes seemed to foreshadow his future developments, whether in his time or ours, he would hardly have been reluctant to take credit for his ingenuity and farsightedness.
This award-winning graded readers series is full of original fiction, adapted fiction and factbooks especially written for teenagers. An adaptation of the classic story about a young man who is shipwrecked on an island. Crusoe eventually meets another person on the island and their friendship leads to his escape and return to the country he left as a young man, almost thirty years before. This is a British English version of the title. The book comes with a CD-ROM and Audio CD with vocabulary games and complete text recordings. Cambridge Experience Readers, previously called Cambridge Discovery Readers, get your students hooked on reading.