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Daniel Defoe: Master of FictionsHis Life and Works$
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Maximillian E. Novak

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199261543

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199261543.001.0001

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Propagandist for William III

Propagandist for William III

(p.120) 6 Propagandist for William III
Daniel Defoe: Master of Fictions

Maximillian E. Novak

Oxford University Press

From a political standpoint, Daniel Defoe was already what was called a ‘Court Whig’ by the middle of the 1690s, and he retained that identification proudly into the reign of Queen Anne. As Reed Browning has suggested, the Court Whigs argued in favour of a standing army when it was to be used in the service of a monarch who was trying to protect English liberties. Defoe’s proposal for a military academy is sandwiched modestly between his projects for two other academies. Two other sides of religion involved Defoe at this time. The first involved a movement for reform under the broad heading of ‘reformation of manners’. Equally filled with the spirit of reform is the section of An Essay upon Projects that treats the English habit of swearing. If Defoe began finding his public voice as a writer on politics and moral reform, he also began to assume a role as a spokesman for the concerns of the Dissenters. Defoe began with a historical account — this time of the history of Dissent in England.

Keywords:   Daniel Defoe, England, Dissent, Dissenters, Court Whigs, politics, swearing, religion, moral reform, standing army

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