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Daniel Defoe - master of fictions : his life and ideas
Maximillian E. Novak
Oxford University Press
UK Publication Date

Daniel Defoe, best known as the author of Robinson Crusoe, lived during a period of dramatic historical, political, and social change in Britain, and was by any standard a superb observer of his times. Through his pamphlets, newspapers, books of travel, and works of fiction he commented on anything and everything, from birth control to the price of coal, from flying machines to academies for women, from security for the aged to the dangers of the plague. In his fiction he created a type of vivid realism that powerfully influenced the development of the novel. The publication of works such as Robinson Crusoe are major events because they shape the ways in which we see our world, so that ever afterwards thoughts of desolation and desert islands immediately evoke Defoe's masterpiece. We should not be surprised: Defoe always wrote to make things happen. During his career as an author, he was a provocative pamphleteer, journalist, and poet; but when he was not writing, he was, at times, a spy and a double agent, a revolutionary and a dreamer. He was variously hunted by mobs with murderous intent and treated as a celebrity by the most powerful leaders of the country.;Imprisoned four times or more, pilloried and reviled by his enemies, through it all he never lost confidence in his ability as a writer and thinker. Daniel Defoe: Master of Fictions is the first biography to view Defoe's complex life through the angle of vision that is most important to us as modern readers-his career as a writer. From his earliest collection of brief stories, which he presented to his future wife under the sobriquet Bellmour, to his Compleat English Gentleman, left unpublished at his death, Defoe was pre-eminently a creator of fictions. This life gives us, for the first time, a full understanding of the thought and personal experience that went into such great works as Crusoe, Moll Flanders, and Roxana.

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Keyword Index
Novelists, English - 17th century - Biography.|Novelists, English - 18th century - Biography.
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