Daniel Defoe [ˈdænjəl dɪˈfəʊ] is a British writer (circa 1660–1731) whose best known works are Robinson Crusoe [rɒbənsən ˈkruːsəʊ] & Moll Flanders [mɒl flɑːndəz]. Here is Daniel Defoe in profile:
Daniel’s father worked as a butcher and made and sold candles.
Young Daniel regretted the fact that he was not of the gentry class and could not attend a prestigious school, such as Oxford or Cambridge.
Defoe made preparations to become a minister, but declined later.
Daniel settled into the business world, working as a hosiery [ˈhəʊzjəri] [ˈhoʊʒəri] (haberdashery) merchant in London.
In 1683, he married Mary Tuffley, the daughter of a wine cooper.
A speaker of six languages, Defoe represented the ultimate in the self-educated man.
Defoe wrote Robinson Crusoe when he was in sixties.
Defoe went bankrupt in 1692 with debts and was imprisoned for a short period.
Defoe developed many business schemes, but lacked planning and follow-through skills.
Defoe gained a staunch readership.
In 1690s, Defoe’s marriage and business came a cropper.
He involved himself in politics and became a prolific writer.
“Shortest Way” led to Defoe’s arrest and conviction for sedition.
As a result of his controversial writings, Defoe was arrested, imprisoned, tried, and sentenced to pay a fine and to stand three times in the pillory.
After his release from prison, Defoe immersed himself in political journalism.
Defoe wrote The True Born Englishman (1701) as an epitome [ɪˈpɪtəmi] of satire [ˈsætaɪə].
He used his time in prison to write a mock ode Hymn [hɪm] to the Pillory [ˈpɪləri]” (1703).
Defoe was a secret agent for the government.
Defoe wrote for different parties, switching his allegiance [əˈliːdʒəns].
In 1719 Defoe became the most prolific writer of his day; 500 literary works.
Defoe’s literary works are unknown; he used to write anonymously.
Daniel Defoe was one of the most important novelists in the 18th century.
As a product of the Age of Reason, Defoe supported empirical thought.
Robinson Crusoe was published in 1719.
Defoe’s best-written novel – Moll Flanders – was written in 1722.
Defoe’s last novel was Roxana.
Defoe’s novels presented realistic characters in a realistic manner.
Defoe was sneered at by the literary class.
Daniel tried to improve his image by changing his surname from Foe to Defoe.
Defoe bought an expensive coach with a coat of arms and stylish accoutrements.
Defoe died in 1734 as a poor man.
An honorary title was conferred on Defoe as “The Father of the English Novel”.
- Robinson Crusoe is an adventure novel published in 1719.
- Robinson Crusoe is a fictional autobiography of the title character.
- Robinson Crusoe is a castaway who spent 28 years on a remote tropical island.
- The story was perhaps influenced by Alexander Selkirk and Gulliver’s Travels.
- Crusoe's island was probably based on the Caribbean island of Tobago.
- Robinson Crusoe is a panoramic novel recording the 18th century; Age of Reason.
Setting (Time) From 1659 to 1694.
Setting (Place) Hull in York (England), London, Yarmouth Roads, Sallee (Morocco) [məˈrɒkəʊ], North Africa, Brazil [brəˈzɪl], an uninhabited island off Trinidad and Tobago [trɪnədæd ənd təˈbeɪɡəʊ] (near Venezuela) [venəˈzweɪlə] in the Caribbean Sea [kærəˈbiːən siː], England, Lisbon [ˈlɪzbən] (Portugal) [ˈpɔːtʃəɡəl] then overland from Spain [speɪn] toward England, and finally the island again.
Tone: When we speak of Crusoe’s tone, we sense certain literary points:
o The tone is detached, meticulous and objective.
o Little rhetorical grandeur is displayed.
o Poetic sumptuousness is not ubiquitous in Robinson Crusoe’s descriptions.
o Defoe steers clear of dramatic storytelling.
o Defoe hardly voices his feelings.
o Defoe follows inventory-like approach to the facts as they unfold.
o Defoe’s tone sounds full of his time ideology adopted in Britain.
o Defoe’s conflicting opinion is voiced with much vacillation and fluctuation.