A Defoe Companion by J. R. Hammond (auth.)

By J. R. Hammond (auth.)

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Full title: 'A True Relation of the Apparition of One Mrs Veal the Next Day After her Death, to One Mrs Bargrave at Canterbury, the 8th of September, 1705'. A short narrative which can be regarded as the first modern ghost story, 'Mrs Veal' is a circumstantial account of the visitation of a woman whose death has occurred the day prior to her alleged appearance. THE APPARITION OF MRS VEAL CAPTAIN AVERY See THE KING OF PIRATES First published 1728. Full title: The Memoirs of an English Officer, Who served in the Dutch War of 1672, to the Peace of Utrecht.

Thus, Lionel Stevenson in The English Novel depre- Defoe's Literary Achievement 35 cates him for 'the absence of customary artistic responsibility' and argues that 'in fiction we expect the irrelevant to be excluded, the significant to be intensified, and an underlying pattern of causation to be revealed'. 27 To some extent this is based on a misunderstanding of Defoe's position. Because he wished to present the diversity of human life, he felt that he had to include everything that ministered to his overall design, however seemingly unimportant.

Like Wells, he is difficult to classify, suspect because of his popularity, and hampered by his extreme discursiveness. Like Wells, his reputation has suffered because of the uneven quality of his work. He was capable of producing such works as Robinson Crusoe, Moll Flanders and Roxana: brilliant myths that have profoundly influenced English literature. In A journal of the Plague Year and the Tour through the Whole Island of Great Britain he forged a distinctive documentary style which deeply affected later writers, including Wells and Orwell.

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