The Life of Daniel Defoe

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The Life of Daniel Defoe

Daniel Defoe was easily one of the most influential and accomplished

English author/writer of all time. Not only is Daniel Defoe considered

as the founder of the English novel along with Samuel Richardson, but

he was also a critical figure in European journalism and political

commentary. Defoe has produced as much as 200 works of non fiction and

2,000 short essays in various periodical publications. In addition to

over half a dozen full length novels such as Robinson Crusoe, a tale

of a shipwrecked sailor stranded on a remote island. Defoe has done

more than anyone else in his lifetime; he was a merchant, business

owner, soldier, editor, journalist, and writer. Much of his life he

was oppressed because of his religion, beliefs, and political and

social ideals, because of his opposition to the church and state he

was jailed and imprisoned many times. Defoe's writing reflected the

fast growth of the English Middle class with new business

opportunities in 1600-1700.

Daniel Foe was born in London sometime in 1660 to an English butcher

and candle merchant James Foe. He later changed his surname to Defoe,

probably to return to his old foreign family name. His father was a

Dissenter, a Presbyterian protestant who was not a part of the

established Anglican Church. Defoe's mother died when he was 10, and

his father sent him to boarding school. At the time Dissenters could

not attend Cambridge and Oxford universities(unless they take an oath

to the Church of England), in fact at the time Dissenters were

prosecuted slightly by the Catholic who were the majority of the

country. Dissenters had to send their children to dissenting

academies. At the age of 14 Defoe went to attend a dissentin...

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...and economic surroundings effected human nature. His novels

are important in history because they mark an important break from

traditional long poems and dramas. Defoe created reality of what we

are reading by presenting realistic details and conditions. Defoe's

complex lifestyle contributed to his understanding of people and the


Annotated Bibliography

"Daniel Defoe @ Catharton" .

Biography of Daniel Defoe expressing his involvement with religion and


Books and Writers Online. .

Biography of Daniel Defoe quoting and describing the work that he has

published and produced. With a list of work along with dates.

Daniel 'The True-Born Englishman' Defoe - Incomptech .

Summery of important events in life of Daniel Defoe. His imprisonment

and struggle by the Catholic church.

"Daniel Defoe" World Book Encyclopedia. 234. 1992.
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