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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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Sinking Under the Weight of Affliction

Sinking Under the Weight of Affliction

(p.695) 29 Sinking Under the Weight of Affliction
Daniel Defoe: Master of Fictions

Maximillian E. Novak

Oxford University Press

Daniel Defoe’s personal letters were preserved by the Baker family, including those wrangling over Sophia’s dowry. But in the letters of June 9, 1729, and August 12, 1730, Defoe wrote as a father about his illnesses, his anger, and his despair. Most of all, he wrote about his love for his family. The June letter is about love and the misunderstandings arising from family intimacy and disagreements. He had felt betrayed by a remark made by Sophia, probably having to do with the quarrel between her father and her husband, Henry Baker. During the last six months of his life, Defoe was once more in hiding. He had been fighting a lawsuit filed against him by Mary Brooke since 1727. It was in London that Defoe died on April 24 or 25, 1731, in his sleep of what was perhaps a relatively mild stroke.

Keywords:   Daniel Defoe, Henry Baker, London, stroke, letters, illnesses, anger, despair, love, family

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