Daniel Defoe was born in London in 1660, third child and first son of James 1. Daniel received a very good education, as his father hoped he would become a minister2, but Daniel wasn't interested. His family was Dissenters, Presbyterians to be precise, and those sects were being persecuted a bit at this time, so maybe Daniel had the right idea. He was always very tolerant of others' religious ideas himself.
His mother died when he was ten, and his father sent him to a boarding school, after which he attended Morton's Academy, as he could not graduate from Oxford or Cambridge without taking an oath of loyalty to the Church of England. He was a very good student, Daniel graduated in 1679, and by then he decided against the ministry, though he wrote and spoke in favor of the Dissenters all his life.
By 1683, Daniel was a successful young merchant, with a storefront in London and no real ideas of becoming a writer at all. On 1684, he married Mary Tuffley, an heiress whose dowry amounted to £3,700 4. Later that year, he joined the army of the rebel Duke of Monmouth, who was attempting to take the throne from James II5. When the rebellion failed, Daniel and many other troops were forced into semi-exile. He traveled around the continent for three years, Daniel was very pleased when William and Mary took charge, and wrote in favor of William in particular, but he was in the minority there.
Daniel went bankrupt in 1692, he was never again free of debt6. Though he still considered himself a merchant, then, writing suddenly became a more prominent part of his life. In 1701, he wrote a poem called The True-Born Englishman which became the best-selling poem ever at that time, but it was only a pamphlet, which made Daniel the lowest form of writer. He also started taking on a few "unofficial" government jobs8, most notably an assignment to Scotland. There was at that time a movement to finally unify England and Scotland, a movement which was very misunderstood by...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document