by Daniel Defoe, Introduction by C. Lovat Fraser
Daniel Defoe has a very long history of readership. Thought to have been born on September 13, 1660 as Daniel Foe, he lived until April 24, 1731. He was many things, including a writer, trader, political thinker and spy. He wrote a great deal on politics, crime, economics and business, as well as many fiction books, including classics such as Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders. Tracing down Defoe’s many works can be a challenge since he used dozens of pennames.
He was often in business, but rarely solvent. He was fortunate to have married Mary Tuffley, receiving a large dowry, which temporarily bailed him out of financial straits. Together, the pair created eight children together. Life was difficult for Mary as Defoe often found himself in jail, and when not, he was often traveling throughout Europe. As the rule of England was in upheaval, Defoe’s political pamphlets often tested the tempers of the rulers, and Defoe was often flung into prison or pressed into spying. If it wasn’t political issues, Defoe was often in or hiding from debtors’ prison.
Claud Lovat Fraser was an English artist. He was born on May 15, 1890, and died at the young age of 31 on June 18, 1921. He served during World War I, and was injured by a gas attack which harmed his lungs. Due to the damage to his physical and mental health, he was discharged. He never stopped pursing his love of art, even drawing and painting while on the battlefield. After his discharge, Fraser married Grace Inez Crawford, and together they had a child. He worked for various stationary and bookshops making stationary designs, as well as theater companies. He died from a combination of illnesses and a failed operation.