By Paula R. Backscheider
Throughout one in every of English history's such a lot tumultuous classes, Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) took half in and pronounced on approximately each significant political, non secular, and social controversy. This commonly acclaimed biography bargains a desirable account of Defoe's outstanding existence. Paula Backscheider finds new information regarding Defoe's mystery occupation as a double agent, his bold enterprise ventures, his risky pen―and his cat-and-mouse video games with those that sought to manage it. this can be the definitive biography of 1 of eighteenth-century England's such a lot influential figures―and some of the most prolific and extensively learn authors of all time
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All through one among English history's such a lot tumultuous sessions, Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) took half in and stated on approximately each significant political, spiritual, and social controversy. This commonly acclaimed biography deals a desirable account of Defoe's striking existence. Paula Backscheider finds new information regarding Defoe's mystery occupation as a double agent, his bold company ventures, his risky pen―and his cat-and-mouse video games with those that sought to manage it.
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Extra info for Daniel Defoe: His Life
In May, Timothy Bird, a London "trader," appeared before Lord Chief Justice Holt to claim an unpaid debt and damages . He alleged that in April 1692 Defoe had promised to pay him £33 within three months. Although Defoe already owed him money, Defoe paid nothing. In the conventional language Bird's accusation states that The aforesaid Daniel little caring about his separate promises and undertakings ... but plotting with fraudulent intent wickedlyand cunningly to d~ceive ... Timothy ... and to defraud him of the separate sums of money ...
Defoe, however, seemed to lack the perseverance required for success and the ability to conceive process and detail. His proposal was correctly criticized by the Christ's Hospital committee for planning too many buildings in too little space-he was proposing twelve houses on a 33' x 130' lot, out of which he intended to carve a 10' wide passage. Furthermore, he surely did not have his share of the £i,200 . The collapse of negotiations at what can only be described from a business standpoint as a ridiculous impasse-Gillingham proposing a twenty-guinea fine when an offer of a fine of £50 was made on one of the leases in 1704-suggests either naivete or lack of real se:iousness.
4 Again Defoe had benefited from connections. Thomas was a friend of Neale's and coauthor of Thomas's projecting pamphlet, A Further Account of the Proposals . for Exchangi,ng the Blank Tickets (1695). In 1697 Neale became commissioner of the transfer office for duties on salt, beer, ale, and other liquor at £i ,200 a year, with another £600 for an office and clerks. He already held the position of master of the mint for Norwich, York, Chester, Bristol, and Exeter. 5 Somewhat ironically, because it was mortgaged to Ghiselyn, Maresco, and Stamper and under litigation, the one property that Defoe could not lose after his bankruptcy was his land in Essex.
Daniel Defoe: His Life by Paula R. Backscheider