01-21-2008 03:48 PM
Widely regarded as the first English novel, this is one of the most popular and influential adventure stories of all time. This classic tale of shipwreck and survival on an uninhabited island was an instant success when first published in 1719 and has inspired countless imitations. In his own words, Robinson Crusoe tells of the terrible storm that drowned all his shipmates and left him marooned on a deserted island. Forced to overcome despair, doubt, and self-pity, he struggles to create a life for himself in the wilderness.
A Journal of the Plague Year
This is a classic 1722 account of the epidemic that ravaged England nearly 60 years earlier. Defoe used his considerable talents as a journalist and novelist to reconstruct -- historically and fictionally -- the Great Plague of London in 1664-65. Written as an eyewitness report, the novel abounds in memorable and realistic details.
A General History of the Pyrates
Considered the major source of information about piracy in the early 18th century, this fascinating history profiles the deeds of Edward (Blackbeard) Teach, Captain Kidd, Anne Bonny, others.
Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress
Defoe's last and darkest novel is the autobiography of a woman who has traded her virtue, at first for survival, and then for fame and fortune. Its narrator tells the story of her own 'wicked' life as the mistress of rich and powerful men. A resourceful adventuress, she is also an unforgiving analyst of her own susceptibilities, who tells us of the price she pays for her successes. Endowed with many seductive skills, she is herself seduced: by money, by dreams of rank, and by the illusion that she can escape her own past.
Subtitled "The History & Remarkable Life of the Truly Honorable Colonel Jacque, Commonly Called Colonel Jack." Beginning in the alleyways of London and ending in the plantations of Virginia, colonel Jack offers a recollection of a life of crime.
Additional Recommended Reading
Daniel Defoe: The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures
West brings the many baffling, colorful facets of Daniel Defoe's person and career into striking focus. Here is Defoe the tradesman, soldier, and spy, the journalist, novelist, satirist, newsman, and pamphleteer. Consistent only in his failure as a businessman, Defoe would never manage to provide adequately for his wife and their six children, neither in commerce nor by his undeniably prolific pen -- a pen that in the year following Defoe's imprisonment, by West's estimate, wrote a half million words. That same year Defoe also founded a newspaper, The Review, for which he created such features as the lead story, the obituary, foreign news analysis, the gossip column, and the advice column. With a finesse and independence of spirit not unlike his subject's own, West unfolds his story of a maverick Defoe, a Puritan but no prude, a Dissenter without a constituency, a hack who never failed to pursue the truth.
02-06-2008 12:08 AM
02-16-2008 12:00 AM
If I like Moll Flanders I think I'd like to try Roxana the Fortunate Mistress and Daniel Defoe: the Life and Strange Surprising Adventures.
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
02-18-2008 11:49 AM