Critical Study of Daniel Defoe's Verse

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This monograph is the first book-length study of Daniel Defoe as a poet and it addresses a long-standing gap in Defoe scholarship. It offers detailed readings of Defoe’s verse productions in relation to their historical and literary contexts, and investigates Defoe’s poetic theory and practice. In reaction to the common view
of Defoe as, first and foremost, a novelist, the author argues that he was England’s leading poet during the first decade of the eighteenth century.


"... a comphrensive, authoritative, and well-documented reassessment of the significance of Defoe as a poet ... [the Author] expertly relates Defoe's poems to the political, theological, and personal issues to which they respond. ... [the Author]'s greatest asset is his ability to make sense of Defoe's aesthetic and polemical aims in the years that he wrote poetry. He does so, in part, by explicating Defoe's models and influences, clarifying many assumptions. ... [the Author] is able to demonstrate Defoe's aims and to gauge his achievements in poetry with clarity and insight." -- Prof. Nicholas Seager, Keele University, Review in Eighteenth-Century Studies, Vol. 45, No. 1 (2011)

“Mueller’s study deepens our sense of Defoe as an essential writer of the early eighteenth century by repeatedly providing a rich sense of the political and cultural contexts of his individual works.” – Prof. Robert Mayer, Oklahoma State University

“Mueller’s book is a complete and comprehensive discussion of Defoe’s verse that outlines in illuminating detail the contemporary issues and controversies that his intensely topical and occasional verse requires for its full understanding and appreciation.” – Prof. John Richetti, University of Pennsylvania

"... systematic, comprehensive, and well-documented exploration of Defoe’s poetic career. Not just an account of Defoe as a poet (who achieved significant fame in the first decade of the eighteenth century), this book also offers substantial insight into the social world of British literature ... reinforces its central claim that Defoe’s poems deserve more attention than they have heretofore received as carefully measured and often innovative contributions to contemporary literature and politics." -- Prof. Gabriel Cervantes, Vanderbilt University

"A Critical Study of Daniel Defoe's Verse is the first book-length effort to assess the work of England's most prolific poets. ... Mr. Mueller has done eighteenth-century poetry a valuable service by recovering the voice of that long-forgotten poet." -- Prof. Geoffrey Sill, Rutgers University - Camden

Table of Contents

Foreword by Robert Mayer



Chapter 1: Introduction

Part I: Defoe's Verse

Chapter 2: Defoe's Early Attempts at Verse: the 'Meditations'

Chapter 3: Finding His Feet: The Ambitious Young Poet

Chapter 4: Fame and Misfortune: Ballads, Satires and Panegyrics

Chapter 5: Cowleyan Pindarics and Defoe's Hymns

Chapter 6: Defoe's Scottish Poems and Late Miscellaneous Verse

Chapter 7: Defoe: Pardon The Poet

Part II: The True-Born Englishman

Chapter 8: The Contexts of The True-Born Englishman

Chapter 9: The True-Born Englishman as Pro-Army Polemic

Part III: Jure Divino

Chapter 10: Defoe's Magnum Opus: Jure Divino

Chapter 11: 'Scepter of Our Minds': Religious Dissent, Occasional Conformity and Jure Divino


Appendix: 'Medita?ons'



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