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Daniel Defoe: His Life

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Home » Books » Fiction & Literature » Literary Criticsm » European » English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh

Daniel Defoe: His Life

By Paula R. Backscheider

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Format: Paperback, 688 pages, Revised Edition
Other Information: 26, 26 black & white illustrations
Published In: United States, 01 August 1992
Throughout one of English history's most tumultuous periods, Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) took part in and reported on nearly every major poltiical, religious, and social controversy. Now in paperback, this biography offers an account of this remarkable life. Paula Backscheider reveals information about Defoe's secret career as a double agent, his daring business ventures, his dangerous pen and his cat-and-mouse games with those who sought to control it. This biography of one of 18th century England's most influential figures, and of a prolific and widely read author, was awarded the British Council Prize by the North American Conference on British Studies.

About the Author

Paula Backscheider is the Philpott-Stevens Eminent Scholar in the Department of English at Auburn University. She is the author of several books, including Revising Women: Eighteenth-Century "Women's Fiction" and Social Engagement and Eighteenth-Century Women Poets and Their Poetry, both published by Johns Hopkins.


Charles Gildon has Defoe say of Robinson Crusoe, ``I drew thee from the consideration of my own Mind; I have been all my Life that Rambling Inconsistent Creature, which I have made thee.'' Backscheider reveals how right Gildon was, showing ``a man struggling to reconcile conflicting loyalties and competing strategies'' but always trying to be useful, well thought of, and rich, a loyal Dissenter though he may have been excommunicated. Multifaceted and multitalented--journalist, merchant, novelist, spy--Defoe emerges as complex yet comprehensible. The work also paints a clear picture of Defoe's political, social, and economic milieu. The first full-length biography of Defoe in 30 years, this well-written, well-illustrated book is a necessary addition to all collections.-- Joseph Rosenblum, Univ. of North Carolina, Greensboro

For the first time everything we know about Defoe is presented in a single orderly sequence..A searching study of a complex man, one that is coherent and credible for our times. * New York Times Book Review * A very considerable work of scholarship, and the first to give this prolific writer the extended treatment he after all deserves. * Washington Post Book World * Paula Backscheider spins this absorbing narrative with meticulous scholarship and lucidity. * Independent on Sunday *

EAN: 9780801845123
ISBN: 0801845122
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Dimensions: 23.5 x 15.72 x 4.19 centimetres (1.00 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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