Timelines are an effective visual tool to understanding any sequence of events or historical period. To put the events of Daniel Defoe's lifetime into context, we have created an animated timeline, which illustrates the epochal nature of Defoe's history and how key events influenced each other.
In order to understand a story we must first understand its author. Daniel Defoe was born in London in a very uneasy time in London. As a child, Defoe survived the Great Fire and the Great Plague of London, only to witness riots, wars, and numerous political upheavals.
Defoe became deeply involved in political matters at an early age. Beginning with the Monmouth Revolution, he became an active supporter of constitutional change, which eventually led to his arrest in 1703.
It is not surprising that his writing took the form of critical commentary. Defoe's publications were as controversial as his actions. He wrote a number of publications attacking European Affairs and the British Monarchy, and promoting dissention and non-conformity before inventing the English novel with his epic adventure tale, Robinson Crusoe.