Daniel Defoe: Master of Fictions : His Life and Ideas

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 756 pages
2 Reviews
Daniel Defoe led an exciting and indeed precarious life. A provocative pamphleteer and journalist, a spy and double agent, a revolutionary and a dreamer, he was variously hunted by mobs with murderous intent and treated as a celebrity by the most powerful leaders of the country. Imprisoned many times, pilloried and reviled by his enemies, through it all he managed to produce some of the most significant literature of the eighteenth century.
Daniel Defoe: Master of Fictions is the first biography to view Defoe's complex life through the angle of vision that is most important to us as modern readers--his career as a writer. Maximillian Novak, a leading authority on Defoe, ranges from the writer's earliest collection of brief stories, which he presented to his future wife under the sobriquet Bellmour, to his Compleat English Gentleman, left unpublished at his death. Novak illuminates such works as Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders, novels that changed the course of fiction in their time and have remained towering classics to this day. And he reveals a writer who was a superb observer of his times--an age of dramatic historical, political, and social change. Indeed, through his many pamphlets, newspapers, books of travel, and works of fiction, Defoe commented on everything from birth control to the price of coal, and from flying machines to the dangers of the plague.
Beautifully and authoritatively written, this is the first serious, full-scale biography of Defoe to appear in a decade. It gives us, for the first time, a full understanding of the thought and personal experience that lie behind some of the great works of English literature.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - stillatim - LibraryThing

I was excited for this--Novak has written some really interesting articles on Defoe. Interesting, well-written, well-argued and so on. This book... not so much. This is *strictly* an academic research ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - tungsten_peerts - LibraryThing

This is a solid, well-written biography of Daniel Defoe, who proves to have been quite an interesting fellow. I would recommend having a reasonably serious Defoe-interest before tackling this book ... Read full review

Contents

IV
11
V
32
VI
51
VII
73
VIII
101
IX
120
X
142
XI
168
XX
411
XXI
436
XXII
464
XXIII
490
XXIV
513
XXV
535
XXVI
565
XXVII
593

XII
189
XIII
213
XIV
237
XV
289
XVI
313
XVII
338
XVIII
360
XIX
386
XXVIII
624
XXIX
648
XXX
674
XXXI
695
XXXII
707
XXXIII
741
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2003)

Professor Maximillian E. Novak is Professor of English Literature at UCLA. He obtained his D.Phil from Oxford in 1961 and his interests include Restoration and Eighteenth-Century British Literature; the Novel; Jewish-American Literature, Libertinism, Restoration Drama, the rise of the novel, primitivism, sensibility, madness, painting and the novel, the Gothic novel, Jewish-American writing of the immigrant period and after 1930

Bibliographic information