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The public voices of Daniel Defoe

Muller, Andreas Karl Ewald (2005) The public voices of Daniel Defoe. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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    Abstract

    This is a study of Daniel Defoe's political rhetoric and polemical strategies
    between the years 1697 and 1717. It explores and analyses a representative selection
    of what may be termed Defoe's `public voices'. In its broadest definition, these public
    voices are understood to be the opinions expressed and the rhetorical stances taken by
    Defoe in those pieces of his writing which directly or indirectly relate to the sphere of
    official, governmental and national discourse and activity. In the most basic sense,
    this thesis attempts to highlight and explain the way in which the language, imagery
    and concerns of Defoe's publications were shaped by the events and attitudes of the
    historical moment at which they were produced. In the process, this study re-situates,
    and thus necessarily re-evaluates, the voices and apparent meanings of some of
    Defoe's better known texts, while offering extensive investigations of the rhetorical
    strategies of publications which have previously been neglected by Defoe scholars.
    In the context of the above, an attempt is made to demonstrate that the poem
    The True-Born Englishman (1701) was not only a response to xenophobic sentiments
    prevalent in English society at the turn of the century but did, in fact, represent
    Defoe's final, summative contribution to the standing army controversy of the late
    1690s. On a similar note, this thesis aims to show that the verse satire Jure Divino
    (1706) was the culmination of Defoe's involvement in the occasional conformity
    controversy of the early 1700s and constituted on important element of his campaign
    in favour of religious toleration. In addition, I argue that volume one of The Family
    Instructor (1715) was Defoe's response to the Jacobite-inspired unrest of the years
    1714-15 and, as such, represented an important political act. Finally, this study offers
    an extensive investigation of one of Defoe's most problematic publications, An
    Argument Proving that the Design of Employing and Tnobling Foreigners, Is a
    Treasonable Conspiracy (1717). The pamphlet, I suggest, represented a highly ironic
    attack on one of Defoe's old adversaries, John Toland, and only develops its full
    rhetorical force if read in the context of the standing army controversy.

    Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
    Additional Information: EThOS Persistent ID: uk.bl.ethos.417292
    Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
    Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
    Depositing User: Sharon Beastall
    Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2010 09:14
    Last Modified: 01 May 2014 08:15
    URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/9142

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