Picture of Daniel Defoe


Lifetime: 1660 - 1731 Passed: ≈ 292 years ago


Writer, Journalist, Merchant



Daniel Defoe

Daniel Defoe is known for his lively and vigorous style, full of articulate lucid details and illustrations. The thing that makes the writing of Daniel Defoe stand out more so than others is that he was able to do this with simplicity.

Daniel Defoe (born Daniel Foe; c. 1660 – 24 April 1731) was an English trader, writer, journalist, pamphleteer and spy. He is most famous for his novel Robinson Crusoe, published in 1719, which is claimed to be second only to the Bible in its number of translations. He has been seen as one of the earliest proponents of the English novel, and helped to popularize the form in Britain with others such as Aphra Behn and Samuel Richardson. Defoe wrote many political tracts and was often in trouble with the authorities, and spent a period in prison. Intellectuals and political leaders paid attention to his fresh ideas and sometimes consulted with him.

Defoe was a prolific and versatile writer, producing more than three hundred works—books, pamphlets, and journals—on diverse topics, including politics, crime, religion, marriage, psychology, and the supernatural. He was also a pioneer of business journalism and economic journalism.

Defoe died on 24 April 1731, probably while in hiding from his creditors. He was often in debtors' prison. The cause of his death was labelled as lethargy, but he probably experienced a stroke. He was interred in Bunhill Fields (today Bunhill Fields Burial and Gardens), just outside the medieval boundaries of the City of London, in what is now the Borough of Islington, where a monument was erected to his memory in 1870.

Books by Daniel Defoe

Robinson Crusoe Cover image

Robinson Crusoe

Adventure Fiction History
Children's Literature Comics

Robinson Crusoe is perhaps the most famous castaway of all time. Whilst many of us have not read Defoe’s iconic book, Robinson Crusoe is a character that is familiar to us all. Aided by the hundreds of movies and theatre productions that the book spu...

Robinson Crusoe Written Anew for Children Cover image

Robinson Crusoe Written Anew for Children

Adventure Action Fiction
Individuality Narrative Society Isolation

First published in 1719, Robinson Crusoe is a book that marks the beginning of realistic fiction writing in English. Its simple, linear narrative style and the semblance of being a true account and autobiographical in nature led to its great populari...

The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders Cover image

The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders

Fantasy Adventure Novel
Picaresque novel Greed Vanity Repentance

Moll Flanders is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published in 1722. It purports to be the true account of the life of the eponymous Moll, detailing her exploits from birth until old age. It is usually assumed that the novel was written by Daniel Defo...

A Journal of the Plague Year Cover image

A Journal of the Plague Year

Fiction History
Great Plague London

A Journal of the Plague Year is a book by Daniel Defoe, first published in March 1722. It is an account of one man's experiences of the year 1665, in which the bubonic plague struck the city of London in what became known as the Great Plague of Londo...

Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress Cover image

Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress

Fiction Novel
Culture Heritage Feminism

Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress (full title: The Fortunate Mistress: Or, A History of the Life and Vast Variety of Fortunes of Mademoiselle de Beleau, Afterwards Called the Countess de Wintselsheim, in Germany, Being the Person known by the Name of th...

The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe Cover image

The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe

Fiction Novel
Children's Literature

The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (now more commonly rendered as The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe) is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published in 1719. Just as in its significantly more popular predecessor, Robinson Crusoe (1719), th...

The History of the Devil  Cover image

The History of the Devil

Humorous Fiction political Religious Fantastic Fiction

"A Political History of the Devil" This book is divided into two parts: first, the history of the devil from his fall from heaven up to the time the book was written and second about his private conduct.

The Life, Adventures & Piracies of Captain Singleton  Cover image

The Life, Adventures & Piracies of Captain Singleton

Fiction Novel
Marine Adventure Economic Nautical Life Piracy Indian Ocean

The Life, Adventures and Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton is a novel by Daniel Defoe, originally published in 1720. It has been re-published multiple times since, some of which times were in 1840 1927, 1972 and 2008. Captain Singleton is beli...