➢ Defoe was born in the year of the Restoration.
➢ His upbringing was in line with the Puritan way
➢ He was educated in the Dissenting Academy Newton Green. ( economics, geography, chemistry and modern languages)
➢ Defoe could be described as a part-time writer, a part-time business man with a full obsession for money, which, he thought, could make him a rich and respected gentleman.
➢ His political inclinations changed rapidly according to hopes of preferment and enrichment
➢ He wrote prose, mostly essays, pamphlets and travel books.
➢ In 1704 he founded The Review.
➢ He wrote the Shortest Way with the Dissenters, where he ironically suggested that the problem with the Dissenters might easily be solved by eliminating them all. This satirical pamphlet gained him three days in the pillory and imprisonment for six month in Newgate
➢ He wrote 375 works
➢ He became a novelist in the last part of his life
➢ Books about the sea and the dangers of navigation were highly popular: Defoe seems to have had in mind the story of Alexander Selkirk: a sailor who survived alone on an island for 5 years
➢ The story is told by a first-person narrator, and Defoe gives us name and surname, relatives provenience… It gives us a life-profile.
➢ The places Crusoe visits in England and far-away countries are carefully described
➢ Time is counted in the most precise manner: Robinson ever starts to write a diary.
➢ Robinson lives 28 years on a desert island, but he doesn’t seems to have been changed, and he doesn’t even despair after the shipwreck.
➢ Defoe only develop his religious conversion: Crusoe survive only because he convinces himself that god had not deserted him
➢ Robinson Crusoe is the celebration of the mercantile spirits and he is the archetype pioneer armed only of his own strength and intelligence.
➢ It was published in 1772
➢ It doesn’t rely on the fascination of the exotic, since its setting is London.
➢ The story is told by Moll herself in her old age, when she has repented ( still First-person narrator)
➢ Moll is et on becoming a gentle woman, Mol is the personification of the modern woman
➢ She sacrifice everything to her economical independence. Moll Flanders deal with problems that are related to that society
➢ Defoe gives us a vivid sketch of city life, but there are no beautiful monuments, but only private houses, goods and money
➢ Moll Flanders is a nickname: ‘Moll’= woman of low repute ‘Flanders’= for the cloth she had stolen
➢ Picaresque novel: novels with deals with the adventures of vagabonds