Daniel Defoe

(circa 1660 — April 24th, 1731)

Daniel Defoe was an English author writing in the 18th century. He was also a trader, a journalist, a pamphleteer, and a spy. One of the earliest proponents of the English novel, he’s now remembered primarily as the author of Robinson Crusoe.

Defoe was a very versatile and prolific writer, and he produced more than three hundred works in his lifetime. His subjects were very diverse, including everything from politics to the supernatural to psychology. He was well known for his political opinions. Political leaders consulted with him, but he also spent time in jail for what was seen as nonconformist ideas.

Most importantly to this blog, Defoe helped successfully develop the beginnings of a novel form in English. Along with contemporaries such as Samuel Richardson and Aphra Behn, Defoe helped build the modern plot structure for contemporary novels.

Defoe did many other things in his lifetime, as well. He was a very public figure. He is known to have used 198 pen names, travelled throughout Europe and what is now the United Kingdom, changed his name from ‘Foe’ to ‘Defoe’, and spent quite a lot of time in debtor’s prison.

Robinson Crusoe is still a very popular book today. Many of Defoe’s other novels, including Moll Flanders, Roxana, and A Journal of a Plague Year, are still widely read.

Daniel Defoe is a book author.

You can view all authors, or you can search by language/region, genre, era/movement, editor/translator, or year of edition.

A Journal of the Plague Year

18th Century

The difficulty of the year has me turning to books more than ever as a soothing distraction and in my search for them I can’t help but notice the decided uptick in plague literature. Most of the books I have seen mentioned I’ve read before all of this began — but this one was sitting in my to-read stacks. This is a review of Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of a Plague Year.