On this day in 1731, English author Daniel Defoe died. He is best known for his novel ‘Robinson Crusoe.’ Defoe is recognized as one of the earliest authors of English novels and wrote over 500 books, pamphlets and journals. He was also recognized as something of a financial journalist.
Daniel Defoe was born some time between 1659 and 1661 – the exact date of his birth being unknown. He was born Daniel Foe (the ‘De’ being added later).
In his youth his family survived the Great Fire of London (1666), which left only his family’s home, and two others standing, in their part of London. A year later he survived a Dutch fleet that sailed up the Thames and attacked Chatham.
Defoe was a Christian and a Dissenter. At one time he was jailed for his views and in an earlier time was also a bankrupt. It is thought that he may have died while in hiding from those seeking him out because of unpaid debts. Defoe died on the 24th April 1731 and is buried in Bunhill Fields, London.
Among Defoe’s many works are ‘Robinson Crusoe’ and ‘Moll Flanders.’