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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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In Limbo Between Causes and Masters

In Limbo Between Causes and Masters

(p.313) 14 In Limbo Between Causes and Masters
Daniel Defoe: Master of Fictions

Maximillian E. Novak

Oxford University Press

Daniel Defoe stayed in Edinburgh to engage in keeping the lines of communication open between England and Scotland and in defending the Union against those, such as the minister James Webster, who had suddenly turned against it. He wrote to Robert Harley on January 27 and again on February 2 that there might be anger if the treaty were returned to Scotland for further consideration: it might not be approved. The Defoe who had passed through the excitement of the Edinburgh mobs was not unchanged by his experience. He, who had depended so strongly on the popularity of his positions in his battles against Parliament, and who had escaped from the usual sufferings at the pillory through an appeal to the crowd, had experienced popular tumults directed against what he considered a good cause. The Scottish Parliament had simply ignored what were supposed to be popular petitions against the Union. In his poem celebrating the New Year of 1707, A Scots Poem, he attacked the intrusion of mobs into the real business of government.

Keywords:   Daniel Defoe, Scotland, England, Union, James Webster, Robert Harley, mobs, Parliament, A Scots Poem

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