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Daniel Defoe   By: (1845-1893)

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First Page:

DANIEL DEFOE

BY

WILLIAM MINTO

NEW YORK

HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS

FRANKLIN SQUARE

ENGLISH MEN OF LETTERS.

EDITED BY JOHN MORLEY.

JOHNSON Leslie Stephen. GIBBON J.C. Morison. SCOTT R.H. Hutton. SHELLEY J.A. Symonds. HUME T.H. Huxley. GOLDSMITH William Black DEFOE William Minto. BURNS J.C. Shairp. SPENSER R.W. Church. THACKERAY Anthony Trollope. BURKE John Morley. MILTON Mark Pattison. HAWTHORNE Henry James, Jr. SOUTHEY E. Dowden. CHAUCER A.W. Ward BUNYAN J.A. Froude. COWPER Goldwin Smith. POPE Leslie Stephen. BYRON John Nichol. LOCKE Thomas Fowler. WORDSWORTH F. Myers. DRYDEN G. Saintsbury. LANDOR Sidney Colvin. DE QUINCEY David Masson. LAMB Alfred Ainger. BENTLEY R.C. Jebb. DICKENS A.W. Ward. GRAY E.W. Gosse. SWIFT Leslie Stephen. STERNE H.D. Traill. MACAULAY J. Cotter Morison. FIELDING Austin Dobson. SHERIDAN Mrs. Oliphant. ADDISON W.J. Courthope. BACON R.W. Church. COLERIDGE H.D. Traill. SIR PHILIP SIDNEY J.A. Symonds.

PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK.

PREFACE.

There are three considerable biographies of Defoe the first, by George Chalmers, published in 1786; the second by Walter Wilson, published in 1830; the third, by William Lee, published in 1869. All three are thorough and painstaking works, justified by independent research and discovery. The labour of research in the case of an author supposed to have written some two hundred and fifty separate books and pamphlets, very few of them under his own name, is naturally enormous; and when it is done, the results are open to endless dispute. Probably two men could not be found who would read through the vast mass of contemporary anonymous and pseudonymous print, and agree upon a complete list of Defoe's writings. Fortunately, however, for those who wish to get a clear idea of his life and character, the identification is not pure guess work on internal evidence. He put his own name or initials to some of his productions, and treated the authorship of others as open secrets. Enough is ascertained as his to provide us with the means for a complete understanding of his opinions and his conduct. It is Defoe's misfortune that his biographers on the large scale have occupied themselves too much with subordinate details, and have been misled from a true appreciation of his main lines of thought and action by religious, political, and hero worshipping bias. For the following sketch, taking Mr. Lee's elaborate work as my chronological guide, I have read such of Defoe's undoubted writings as are accessible in the Library of the British Museum there is no complete collection, I believe, in existence and endeavoured to connect them and him with the history of the time.

W.M.

CONTENTS.

PAGE CHAPTER I. DEFOE'S YOUTH AND EARLY PURSUITS 1

CHAPTER II. KING WILLIAM'S ADJUTANT 13

CHAPTER III. A MARTYR TO DISSENT? 30

CHAPTER IV. THE REVIEW OF THE AFFAIRS OF FRANCE 51

CHAPTER V. THE ADVOCATE OF PEACE AND UNION 62

CHAPTER VI. DR. SACHEVERELL, AND THE CHANGE OF GOVERNMENT 73

CHAPTER VII. DIFFICULTIES IN RE CHANGING SIDES 103

CHAPTER VIII. LATER JOURNALISTIC LABOURS 115

CHAPTER IX... Continue reading book >>




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