A fascinating piece about Daniel Defoe…who was actually pilloried at one point in his long and tumultuous life. Just reading the list of his pen names gives a great sense of the man. I’d like to read “Journal of the Plague Year” and “The Storm.” (Sadly, I’ve never found his fiction compelling.)
Daniel Defoe has been called the father of the English novel. But what is less well known is the fascinating life he led. It involved more than one brush with death, destructive fires, outbreaks of plague, and many encounters with the authorities. He found himself before the law, in the pillory, with his house falling down around him, with his entire neighbourhood laid waste. His work as a journalist was groundbreaking (no pun intended on his house falling down). And his countless pen names are absurd, hilarious, and revealing.
Imagine a world without Daniel Defoe. To start with, the novel as we know it would be … well, would not be as we know it, without Defoe’s input and influence. Journalism, too, might have been different, if it hadn’t been for Defoe’s pioneering work in that field. But what’s remarkable is that Defoe did exist, and survived – on several…
View original post 1,299 more words