Daniel Defoe lived a busy and varied life about which we have a great deal of information, but do not know everything. He wrote a vast number of works — pamphlets, treatises, poems, travel writing, histories, as well as his few fictions. Much of this output was political, some expounding his own opinions, but a great deal written to order while he was more-or-less secretly employed by politicians. As a result, many of the works attributed to Defoe were published anonymously, or under invented names; and scholars still argue about the authorship of many pieces. This chapter will give a brief account of Defoe’s life and some account of his better-known works.
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