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Daniel Defoe ( 1660 - 1731 )  Category ( Writers ) [suggest a correction]
 

Daniel Foe, English writer, journalist, and pamphleteer, was born in London to James Foe, a tallow dealer, and his wife. In order to make himself appear more aristocratic, Daniel added the "de" to his surname when he was an adult.

Defoe's childhood took place during one of the most catastrophic periods of the city's history. When he was only about four years old, plague killed more than seventy thousand people in London. One year later the Great Fire of London occurred. His childhood home was one of two still standing in his entire neighborhood.

When he was thirteen, his mother died. He was raised and educated in the Presbyterian dissenter church. Raised without the advantages of higher education, Defoe entered the business world, selling a variety of products, including wine and hosiery. He did rather well for himself, purchasing a home in the country and his own ship for trade. Yet, his debts mounted. To help with his financial troubles, he married Mary Tuffley, collecting her dowry of close to four thousand pounds, which was a significant sum at the time. Despite the infusion of cash, Defoe's debts continued to grow, and the marriage suffered. The couple had eight children. His decision to join the Monmouth Rebellion was ill-advised, and he narrowly escaped the gallows. However, he was arrested for non-payment of debts in 1692, and spent nearly two years in the Old Bailey at London.

When he was released he left the country to travel in Europe. He might also have used his credentials as a wine dealer to travel and do business in Cadiz, Porto, and Lisbon. He returned to England in 1696, and began service as a "commissioner of the glass duty," which meant that he was responsible for collecting taxes on bottles. It was at about this time that he began to seriously write. His first notable effort was An Essay upon Projects, which presented problems and offered solutions for various social and economic difficulties.

He continued to write and publish economic and political pamphlets. He was arrested for writing those pamphlets in 1703 and was placed in a pillory. He was eventually sent to Newgate Prison, but was released by Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Mortimer, on condition that he serve as the Earl's spy in political matters. Defoe continued to produce pamphlets, using a total of at least 198 pen names. At some point during the second decade of the eighteenth century, Defoe began writing novels. He is best known for Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders. A prolific writer, he is author of more than 370 known publications, and influenced generations of novelists.


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www.incompetech.com/authors/defoe [Comment on this link]
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Title :Daniel 'The True-Born Englishman' Defoe
Description : Daniel Defoe - British author biography
 
 
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www.worldofbiography.com/9017-Daniel%20Defoe/ [Comment on this link]
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Title :Daniel Defoe - World of Biography
Description : Glance, Life, Works, Special Features, Quotations, Chronology, Biography of Daniel Defoe
 
 
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