Biographical noteBorn in London to a prosperous tallow-chandler, Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) was educated at the Presbyterian Ministry at Morton's Academy for Dissenters, but in 1683 abandoned the ministry and followed his father by pursuing a career in trade and politics. A prolific non-fiction writer (writing some 500 books on a wide range of topics), prominent public figure (single-handedly producing the Review, a pro-government newspaper, for some time) political agitant (arrested in 1703 for writing an ironical satire on High Church extremism) and secret agent, it was not until late in his life that Defoe turned to fiction. He published Robinson Crusoe in 1719, just over ten years before his death, and is widely held to be the first true novelist. Main descriptionDaniel Defoe's great masterpiece, in a gorgeous new clothbound edition designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith. These delectable and collectible Penguin editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design'I walk'd about on the shore, lifting up my hands, and my whole being, as I may say, wrapt up in the contemplation of my deliverance ... reflecting upon all my comrades that were drown'd, and that there should not be one soul sav'd but my self ... 'Who has not dreamed of life on an exotic isle, far away from civilization? Here is the novel which has inspired countless imitations by lesser writers, none of which equal the power and originality of Defoe's famous book. Robinson Crusoe, set ashore on an island after a terrible storm at sea, is forced to make do with only a knife, some tobacco, and a pipe. He learns how to build a canoe, make bread, and endure endless solitude. That is, until, twenty-four years later, when he confronts another human being. First published in 1719, Robinson Crusoe has been praised by such writers as James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Samuel Johnson as one of the greatest novels in the English language.'Robinson Crusoe has a universal appeal, a story that goes right to the core of existence' Simon Armitage
This work follows Daniel Defoe's fictional narrator as he traces the devastating progress of the plague through the streets of London. Here we see a city transformed - some of its streets suspiciously empty and some overwhelmingly full of the sounds and smells of human suffering.
Purports to be the autobiography of the daughter of a woman who had been transported to Virginia for theft after her child's birth. The child is brought up in the house of the mayor of Colchester. The story relates her seduction, her marriages and liaisons, and her visit to Virginia.
Dans Caledonia, poème de quelque 1265 vers, Defoe fait un éloge quasi rhapsodique de l'Ecosse, vantant la beauté de ses paysages et les traditions héroïques de son peuple. Par cette revalorisation de l'Ecosse, Defoe témoigne de son soutien aux Ecossais, auprès desquels il espère améliorer sa réputation, et ce poème s'inscrit dans le contexte du débat sur l'Union anglo-écossaise, et, au moment de la publication de ce poème, Defoe est très clairement associé à la cause pro-unioniste. Le but de cette traduction de Caledonia est de mettre en lumière une partie négligée, mais non négligeable, du corpus de Defoe, qui est au demeurant un auteur très connu par sa prose (Robinson Crusoe ou Moll Flanders étant célèbres partout dans le monde). Elle se propose de faire connaître à un public universitaire et extra-universitaire ce texte dit «mineur », mais qui est en réalité surtout rare, oublié ou méconnu, car il est dommage de faire l'impasse sur toute une production poétique qui a été très importante entre 1701 et 1706, et qui fait partie de l'auteur Defoe tel que nous le connaissons dans sa prose, de sa formation, de sa production, de son écriture.