We Must Keep Daniel Defoe in the Literary Cannon

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Daniel Defoe born in or around 1660 experienced the most complex disastrous events in England before he was seven. In 1664 a Dutch fleet attacked London, in 1665 the plague took seventy thousand lives and in 1666 the great fire destroyed Defoe’s neighborhood expect for three houses, one being his. Born to a family of dissenters a class of people who refused to conform to the Church of England, Defoe was hindered with obstacles from the start. Receiving his education from a dissenter’s school and as West indicates: “barred from Oxford and Cambridge and instead received three years of higher education under the Reverend Charles Morton, a future vice–president of Harvard University who drilled his pupils in science, modern tongues, and the intricacies of English rhetoric. Defoe learned his lessons well. He took away with him a superb prose style and a burning resentment of the upper classes who had denied him entrance to Oxbridge, coupled with a scarcely–disguised lust to join their ranks—a blend of envy and hatred common among young middle–class men even today.” Daniel Defoe was one of the first writers to utilize both fiction and nonfiction to entice as many people as possible. Therefore, Defoe should remain included in today’s literary canon due to his contributions to the early eighteenth century social and moral reform, political awareness and promotion of spiritual exploration.

Defoe's first notable publication was An Essay upon Projects, a series of proposals for social and economic improvement, published in 1697.One of Defoe’s works Robinson Crusoe, written in early eighteenth century not only had great influence at the time of its writing but continues to be a novel that is referred to in many schools around the world. ...

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...NDB “Daniel Defoe” Soylent Communications 2010 Web. 14 Oct. 2010


Notablebiographies (Daniel Defoe Biography (September 21, 2008)

Web. 15 Oct. 2010 http://www.notablebiographies.com/De-Du/Defoe-Daniel.html#ixzz12T16e2t8

SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on Robinson Crusoe.”. SparkNotes LLC.

SparkNotes.com 2003. Web. 1 Oct. 2010. http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/crusoe/

(Stocks,Tiphanie N.) Daniel Defoe and the reform of the English nation: An examination of

his moralistic writings) Periodical, Full:ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Pub

Year:2002Pub Date Free Form:01/01Volume:0335Issue:0256. Web. 1 Oct. 2010

West, Richard “A Paradoxical Genius Daniel Defoe: The Life and Strange, Surprising

Adventures. Carroll & Graf”. 427pp.$26 reviewd by Philip Zaleski Web. 14 Oct. 2010 http://mural.uv.es/mesne/morethings.html

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