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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.
Following the success of Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe wrote a new fiction, the story of an English pirate whose success eclipsed every buccaneer the Atlantic world had seen. Featuring a haunted, unreliable narrator, a daring trek across the continent of Africa, and mercantile adventures in the China Seas, Captain Singleton is a tale of loneliness, brotherhood, and the lust for profit.Appendices to this Broadview Edition include materials on pirate writing, travel writing, and earlier pirate tales that may have provided models for Captain Singleton.
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.
Robinson Crusoe, published in 1719, is considered by many to be the first novel in English, and its success was so enormous that by the end of the nineteenth century it had spawned more translations and versions than any other previous English book. An everyman character who has become part of our cultural heritage, Defoe's castaway - shipwrecked, imperilled and facing a host of elemental challenges - lives an archetypal life of survival, adventure and personal development. On one level a simple adventure story, while at the same time an allegory, a quest novel and a spiritual autoEdition Biography, Robinson Crusoe has captured the imagination of readers for nearly three centuries.
This beautiful jacketed hardback presents Daniel Defoe's classic A Journal of the Plague Year, a vivid and arresting account of the impact of London's Great Plague of 1665. A Journal of the Plague Year, first published in 1722, is an account of the impact of London's Great Plague of 1665. Daniel Defoe himself was only five years old at the time of the Plague and so his personal experience would have been limited. He claimed that the Journal was a historical account of the events of that year, based on extensive research and seen through an eyewitness experience, that of his uncle, Henry Foe. Defoe details the progress of the plague through London's districts, how the city attempted to fight it, and describes the horror of carts piled high with the dead. He also examines the distressing effect of the disease on the human psyche, personified by Solomon Eagle, renowned for parading naked with a burning pan of charcoal on his head, denouncing the sins of the city. Whether novel or history or something in between, the Journal is packed with incident and insight, as well as statistics and intriguing facts, making a brilliant account of a city and its people in a terrible time. Featuring an illuminating introduction by Henry Morley, this beautiful jacketed hardback makes a perfect gift or collectible for any history or literature lover. ABOUT THE SERIES: Arcturus Silhouette Classics are high-quality hardback editions with contemporary cover-designs. Presented with dust jackets and beautiful colour end-papers, the titles in this series make wonderful gifts or collectibles for any classic literature lover.