6 best works of Daniel Defoe

Born in London in 1660, Defoe was a jack of all trades. He wrote over 500 works, from political pamphlets and essays to novels and travelogues. In 18th-century London, Daniel Defoe stood out as a writer, journalist, and novelist. Despite facing imprisonment and exile for his controversial views, he produced over 500 works, including Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders. Defoe’s masterful storytelling and exploration of social and moral issues continue to captivate readers today, making him one of the greatest writers of all time.

Defoe was not only a prolific writer, but also a master storyteller. His works are known for their vivid descriptions, complex characters, and exploration of social and moral issues that are still relevant today. From gripping adventure stories to gritty portrayals of 18th-century life, Defoe’s works are still read and studied today. Here are some of Defoe’s best novels.

Robinson Crusoe

Let’s start with the book that put Defoe on the map. This classic novel tells the story of Robinson Crusoe, a man who is shipwrecked on a deserted island for 28 years. The book is a masterpiece of adventure, survival, and self-discovery. It’s no wonder that it’s been adapted countless times for film, TV, and stage.

Moll Flanders

If you want to delve into the seedy underbelly of 18th-century England, this novel is a must-read. It follows the life of Moll Flanders, a woman who rises from poverty to become a wealthy courtesan. Along the way, she faces many trials and tribulations, including multiple marriages, incest, and a stint in prison.

A Journal of the Plague Year

This book is not for the faint of heart. It’s a harrowing account of the Great Plague of London in 1665 and the devastation it caused. Defoe’s description of the disease and its impact is so vivid that it almost feels like you’re living through the plague yourself.


This novel tells the story of a woman named Roxana, who is forced into prostitution to support herself and her children. The book explores themes of love, loyalty, and betrayal, and it’s a powerful commentary on the social and economic conditions of the time.

The History of the Devil

This satirical work is a witty and irreverent take on the religious establishment of the time. Defoe’s portrayal of the Devil is both hilarious and thought-provoking, and it’s a fascinating insight into the cultural and religious beliefs of 18th-century England.

The Shortest Way with the Dissenters

This pamphlet is a classic example of Defoe’s political writing. In it, he poses as a High Church extremist and argues for the extermination of dissenters. The pamphlet was so convincing that many people believed it was genuine, and Defoe was actually arrested and imprisoned for it.

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