Author:Daniel Defoe

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This is an ISFDB Bibliographic Comments page for the author (or artist or editor) Daniel Defoe. This page may be used for bibliographic comments or extended notes about the author, or discussion on how to the author's works are to be recorded . The link above leads to the ISFDB summary record for Daniel Defoe. Please use Bio:Daniel Defoe for a biographical sketch of this person. To discuss what should go on this page, use the talk page. For more on this and other header templates, see Header templates.


In his later years, Defoe wrote several books on the occult, specifically: "The (Political) History of the Devil" (1726), "A System of Magic" (1726), and "An Essay on the History and Reality of Apparitions" (1727). These are generally regarding as non-fiction treatises, although "The History of the Devil" is sometimes viewed as satire (such as by The Defoe Society. If this were the case, they might be eligible for inclusion in the ISFDB. In "Dating the Devil: Daniel Defoe's Roxana and the Political History of the Devil", by McInelly & Paxman, Christianity and Literature , Vol. 53, No. 4, the authors argue that in 1725 Defoe "began writing works on the occult... Maximillian E. Novak has suggested that the meager financial success of Roxana may have led Defoe to abandon fiction and then turn his attention to answering contemporary attacks on orthodox Christianity and the Bible." They continue "The existence of the Devil created controversy because believers in Defoe's lifetime considered it a crux of religious thought at the same time as skeptics questioned the rationality of such beliefs. While Defoe had, as Novak points out, "moved far from the notions of a horned and cloven-footed devil," the Devil was an undeniable reality for Defoe and an indispensable element in his system of belief." This viewpoint certainly classifies them as non-genre from our viewpoint.

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