Radical demystification of Daniel Defoe’s iconic work

Dunkerley delivers an informative contextual account of the author of this fictional autobiography. The “hyperactive” Defoe turned his prodigious energies to mercantile trade as wine merchant, brickyard owner, journalist, novelist and as both government critic and spy-provocateur. For his Whig masters he was “a radical star.”

In appraising what is unquestionably Defoe’s finest poem, his Satyr on The True-Born Englishman, where, after describing the mixture of races that fuel our “native” bloodline, he concludes: “From this Amphibious, ill-born mob began/That vain ill-natured thing, an Englishman,” Dunkerley believes he mirrors not only his own times but “the age of UKIP, the DUP and Brexit.”

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