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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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An Age of Plot and Deceit, of Contradiction and Paradox

An Age of Plot and Deceit, of Contradiction and Paradox

(p.168) 8 An Age of Plot and Deceit, of Contradiction and Paradox
Daniel Defoe: Master of Fictions

Maximillian E. Novak

Oxford University Press

When William III died in March 1702, Daniel Defoe knew that he had lost a patron of a character he would never see again. In his autobiographical Appeal to Honour and Justice of 1715, Defoe expressed his sense of abandonment in what may seem like an accent of self-pity. For Defoe, William was the living embodiment of the Glorious Revolution in every way: toleration for Dissenters, rights and liberties for every Englishman clearly stated and firmly established, a Protestant succession for England forever. Defoe’s satire carries him to a variety of topics, including a fierce attack upon slavery and the colonialism practised by the early Spanish conquistadors. Dissenters would have to be regarded as parody in the neutral sense of pure ventriloquism, but clearly much more was intended. In July, he appeared in court to be charged with libel. The indictment stressed his action in writing and publishing The Shortest Way with the Diseenters as a direct affront to Queen Anne.

Keywords:   Daniel Defoe, William III, Queen Anne, Dissenters, liberties, England, satire, slavery, colonialism, libel

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