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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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Times When Honest Men Must Reserve Themselves for Better Fortunes

Times When Honest Men Must Reserve Themselves for Better Fortunes

(p.464) 20 Times When Honest Men Must Reserve Themselves for Better Fortunes
Daniel Defoe: Master of Fictions

Maximillian E. Novak

Oxford University Press

Whigs such as John Dunton were intent to have Robert Harley executed for treason and all who served him punished. In defending Harley, Defoe was also protecting himself. Henry St John Bolingbroke had apparently hoped to make the Tories so dominant that the Whigs and other opposition groups would be powerless, and now the Whigs were attempting a similar move to power. Although the transition from Queen Anne to the reign of George I had gone relatively smoothly, there had been some disturbances, most notably in Bristol. There had also been a series of provocative acts throughout England during the summer of 1715, and with the rebellion begun in Scotland in September, the real battle seemed ready to take place. Staunch as he was for the Hanoverian succession, Defoe was not going to remain silent even when threatened by prosecution. The passage of the Schism Act, with its resemblance to the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, seemed destined to destroy the Dissenters.

Keywords:   Daniel Defoe, Whigs, Robert Harley, England, Queen Anne, George I, Henry St John, succession, Dissenters, Schism Act

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