Daniel Defoe had an eventful and adventurous life as a merchant, politician, spy and literary hack. He is one of the eighteenth century's most lively, innovative and important authors, famous not only for his novels, including Robinson Crusoe, Moll Flanders, and Roxana, but for his extensive work in journalism, political polemic and conduct guides, and for his pioneering 'Tour through the Whole Island of Great Britain'. This volume surveys the wide range of Defoe's fiction and non-fiction, and assesses his importance as writer and thinker. Leading scholars discuss key issues in Defoe's novels, and show how the man who was once pilloried for his writings emerges now as a key figure in the literature and culture of the early eighteenth century.
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Introduction John Richetti; 1. Defoe: the man in the works Paula Backscheider; 2. Defoe's political and religious journalism Maximillian Novak; 3. Defoe, commerce, and empire Srinivas Aravamudan; 4. Defoe and criminal fiction Hal Gladfelder; 5. Money and character in Defoe's fiction Deidre Lynch; 6. Defoe's Tour and the identity of Britain Pat Rogers; 7. Defoe as narrative innovator John Richetti; 8. Gender and fiction in Moll Flanders and Roxana Ellen Pollak; 9. Defoe and London Cynthia Wall; 10. Robinson Crusoe and the varieties of fictional experience Michael Seidel; 11. Defoe: satirist and moralist John McVeagh; 12. Defoe and poetic tradition J. Paul Hunter; Guide to further reading; Index.
John Richetti is A. M. Rosenthal Professor (Emeritus) of English at the University of Pennsylvania.