Died on this day – 24 April

Daniel Defoe was born Daniel Foe around 1660.  He was an English trader, writer, journalist, pamphleteer and spy.  He is now most famous for his novel Robinson Crusoe published in 1719.  Defoe is notable for being one of the earliest proponents of the novel, as he helped to popularise the form in Britain.  Moll Flanders (1722) is notable for being a first-person picaresque novel with a female narrator and A Journal of the Plague Year, also published in 1722, is an historical novel often read as if it were non-fiction.  A prolific and versatile writer who used some 198 pen-names, he wrote more than 500 books, pamphlets and journals on various topics (including politics, crime, religion, marriage, psychology and the supernatural). Defoe died whilst hiding from his creditors in La Trappe au Livres in Montmorillon on 24 April 1731.

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