DEAD: Daniel Defoe

DEAD: ON THIS DATE

Daniel Defoe (aged 70)
English trader, writer and journalist

Daniel Defoe (1660 – 24 April 1731),born Daniel Foe, was an English trader, writer, journalist, pamphleteer and spy. He is most famous for his novel Robinson Crusoe, which is second only to the Bible in its number of translations. He has been seen as one of the earliest proponents of the English novel, and helped to popularise the form in Britain with others such as Aphra Behn and Samuel Richardson. Defoe wrote many political tracts and often was in trouble with the authorities, including a spell in prison. Intellectuals and political leaders paid attention to his fresh ideas and sometimes consulted with him.

DEATH: Daniel Defoe died on 24 April 1731, probably while in hiding from his creditors. He often was in debtors’ prison. The cause of his death was labelled as lethargy, but he probably experienced a stroke. He was interred in Bunhill Fields (today Bunhill Fields Burial and Gardens), Borough of Islington, London, where a monument was erected to his memory in 1870.

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