Rent A Cottage In Scotland

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Danield Defoe and Scotland

It is not widely known that the English writer Daniel Defoe (1660-1731), celebrated author of Robinson Crusoe, a fictional story based on the real adventures of the Scotsman Alexander Selkirk, from Lower Largo, had a secret life of his own. At a time of great political intrigue in Scotland, Defoe was employed as a spy by the English government. His mission was to report on the politics of the time, both Unionist and Jacobite; and he provided information on Scottish economics, trade, religion, and the history and geography of the country – even on the people themselves.

Defoe spent much of his life in active conspiracy and Defoe in Scotland: A Spy Among Us presents a selection of his writings, which demonstrate the complex web of intrigue under which he operated while in Scotland, before and just after the Act of Union (1707).

Defoe sought to sway public opinion through his prolific journalism and pamphleteering, and his influence was considerable. Not only did his thoughts affect the perception of Scotland, at home and overseas, he even contributed articles to Jacobite journals of the day in an attempt to sabotage the movement. So convincing were some of his ironic pieces that Defoe found himself charged with promoting Jacobitism!

This book is a fascinating and eminently readable snapshot of Scotland at a pivotal moment in its history, and will appeal to a large readership.

Daniel Defoe was a principal secret agent for the English government during the 18th century. Many present-day journalists – and spies – may well envy him the ‘art he is truly master of, of forging a story and imposing it on the world for truth’. Defoe in Scotland: A Spy Among Us.

The mysterious and secret life of Daniel Defoe, the father of the English novel, whose books "Robinson Crusoe", "Moll Flanders", and "Roxana" have sold in vast numbers throughout the world for nearly three hundred years. He reveals for the first time the real life of a highly talented religious dissenter whose sometimes outwardly pious and holier than thou demeanour disguised another, different existence in the shadows. His complex life as journalist, government spy and secret 'Governor General' of the press, was paralleled by great personal confusion. A gay man, he was 'married' many times, with children by several women; he was always in debt; thirteen times arrested; Pilloried; and twice bankrupted. This book demonstrates that his secret life was stranger than those of the pirates, courtesans, pimps and murderers who crowd his pages. Beyond Belief: The Real Life of Daniel Defoe.

Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) is known to many only by his first novel, Robinson Crusoe, astonishingly written as he approached his sixtieth year. Acknowledged as the first of English novelists, he has also been awarded accolades for being the Father of Journalism , the most successful spy in British history, the precursor to contemporary depth psychologists, the most daring of early feminists, the most devious of confidence tricksters and fraudulent entrepreneurs, the unsurpassed travelogue presenter, the first spin-doctor and speech-writer to a king. Hurling his defiances against the Established Church and Roman Catholicism, he was also the intrepid upholder of dissenting beliefs. Leo Abse deploys his forensic skills as a distinguished criminal lawyer and reforming parliamentarian to present an intriguing and novel Freudian overview of all Defoe s major works. Weaving the anecdotal and the personal with profound revelatory explorations of the psychodynamics and psychopathology of Defoe, his conclusions, strikingly relevant to today s political dilemmas, will precipitate debate in university English departments, startle many literary critics and be of absorbing interest to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists and all working in the field of mental health. Bisexuality Daniel Defoe.

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