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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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From Public Journalist to Lunar Philosopher

From Public Journalist to Lunar Philosopher

(p.237) 11 From Public Journalist to Lunar Philosopher
Daniel Defoe: Master of Fictions

Maximillian E. Novak

Oxford University Press

Almost everything Daniel Defoe published provoked attacks upon him and his ideas. He was now a public figure, and if he had some right to complain about slanders concerning him and his life, he also had to expect them. Defoe also had his defenders. William Colepepper, his lawyer in the trial over The Shortest Way, had been threatened with bodily harm by friends of Sir George Rooke, and he eventually took legal action against them. Naturally enough, Defoe came to his friend’s defence. As he did with the beginning of the Review, he began by attacking the quality of other newspapers, including the Review itself. His commitment to fighting the enemies of the Dissenters may be seen in his ongoing exchanges with Charles Leslie, one of the most effective representatives of Jacobite views in England. Some time during the summer of 1704, Robert Harley decided that Defoe would be more useful as a collector of information within England than as an agent on the Continent.

Keywords:   Daniel Defoe, newspapers, Robert Harley, England, Charles Leslie, Dissenters, George Rooke, William Colepepper, slanders

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