One of the seventeenth and eighteenth century’s greatest writers, Daniel Defoe is perhaps best known for his more adventurous works: the novels Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders. It might be a surprise then, to learn that Defoe’s output was not just limited to fiction. Indeed, during his time, Defoe’s output covered journalism, economics, history, politics, religion and geography – with a special interest paid to geography, world history and cartography.
Despite his work as a pamphleteer, critic, and early journalist, it will always be Defoe’s literary works that command attention – not just because of their wondrous (and scandalous!) content; but also for the reason that Defoe spearheaded the entire tradition of ‘the English Novel’. His memoir/stories/adventures of the shipwrecked Crusoe, the scandalous Moll Flanders, and the tragic account of the Plague Year all bear the hallmark of adventure, morality, and excitement that form the basis of the long-novel form, and make him an excellent candidate for the collector. Like Malory’s Morte d’Arthur, Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels or Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, the works of Defoe set about depicting moral quandaries in imaginative terms, and were one of the first ‘types’ of literary media that were meant to be digested by a mass-market (and not just lords and laity). Any who could read would find the material interesting, amusing, or at least provocative.
Because of his place at the forefront of the new novel media, a true Defoe first can be prohibitively expensive (a good condition true first of Robinson Crusoe, dating to the early seventeen hundreds would set you back some four to six thousand US dollars). There would also with that the added need of maintaining an archival-standard library, with very careful book treatment, care, and perhaps even temperature and humidity control. For many of these, the requirements of housing these rare volumes from the dawn of the Enlightenment era are beyond our meagre scope; but we needn’t be disheartened!
Due to Defoe’s success, there have been many fine collector’s editions of his works over the years, each of which will command greater value in the future as well as open a window to the fine book arts of their time. Consider the publishers of John Stockdale, or The Basilisk Press for editions of many of Defoe’s works printed in the eighteen hundreds, with can fetch prices from as little five hundred dollars (and still be a part of the fine antiquarian book market)!
Better still, the topics that Defoe devoted himself to were so diverse, then why not become an owner of one of his slimmer, hardbound pamphlets, such as The Secrets of the Invisible World Disclos’d, (a few hundred dollars for the 1840 edition) or his A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain (1742 edition re-published by John Osborne) for as little as four hundred US dollars?
Defoe, Daniel. An Answer. Printed for Richard Baldwin (1693). To The Late K. Jamess Last Declaration, Dated At St. Germains, April 17. S.N. 1693.
Defoe, Daniel. A true collection of the writings of the author of the true -bokai Englishman. Printed and sold by the Booksellers (1703). Containing These Following Treatises; The True-Born English-Man A Satyr; The Third Edition, Corrected And Enlargd By The Author. 2 Volumes; Portrait Frontis Engraved By M. Van Der Gucht After J. Taverner.
Defoe, Daniel. THE STORM. G. Sawbridge (1704). Or, A Collection Of The Most Remarkable Casualties And Disasters Which Happend In The Late Dreadful Tempest, Both By Sea And Land.
Defoe, Daniel. The Consolidator. Benjamin Bragg (1705). Or Memoirs Of Sundry Transactions In The World Of The Moon; Translated From The Lunar Language , By The Author Of The True-Born English Man
Defoe, Daniel. Jure Divino. London (1706). A Satyr; In Twelve Books. By The Author Of The True-Born-Englishman; Frontis Portrait By Vander Gucht.
Defoe, Daniel. The Re-Representation. Printed in the Year (1711). Or, A Modest Search After The Great Plunderers Of The Nation: Being A Brief Enquiry Into Two Weighty Particulars, Necessary At This Time To Be Known; I. Who They Are That Have Plundered The Nation; Ii. Why That Are Not Detected And Punished
Defoe, Daniel. Plea to the Nonconformist. A Bettlesworth (1712). Shewing The True State Of Their Case; With A Preface By The Author Of The Review Daniel Defoe;De Laune, Thomas. Jeremiah Wise.
Defoe, Daniel. Letter from a member of the House of Commons. J. Baker (1713). Of The House Of Commons To His Friend In The Country, Relating To The Bill Of Commerce; With A True Copy Of The Bill, And An Exact List Of All Those Who Voted For And Against Engrossing It; Several Similar Issues, Of Uncertain Sequence.
Defoe, Daniel. Memoirs of the conduct of her late Majesty and her last ministry. S. Keimer (1715). Relating To The Separate Peace With France; By The Right Honourable The Countess Of London: Printed, And Sold By S. Keimer,
Defoe, Daniel. Some Reasons Offered by the Late. J. Morphew (1715). Ministry In Defence Of Their Administration.
Defoe, Daniel. Some Considerations on a Law for Triennial Parliaments. J Baker and T Warner (1716). Some Considerations On A Law For Triennial Parliaments, With An Enquiry; I. Whether There May Not Be A Time When It Is Necessary To Suspend The Execution; Ii. Whether This Is Such A Time Or No?
Defoe, Daniel. MINUTES OF THE NEGOTIATIONS OF MONSR. S. Baker (1717). Mesnager At The Court Of England, Towards The Close Of The Last Reign [Queen Anne]; Wherein Some Of The Most Secret Transactions Of That Time, Relating To The Interest Of The Pretender, And A Clandestine Separate Peace, Are Detected And Laid Open.
Defoe, Daniel. Charity still a Christian virtue. S. Baker (1719). Or, An Impartial Account Of The Tryal And Conviction Of The Reverend Mr. Hendley, For Preaching A Charity-Sermon At Chisselhurst; And Of Mr. Campman, Mr. Prat, And Mr. Harding.
Defoe , Daniel. La vie et les avantures surprenantes de Robinson Crusoe. Lhonore and Chatelain, Amsterdam (1720). Engraved Frontispiece By B. Picart; First French Translation By Themiseul De Saint-Hyacinthe And Justus Van Effen.
Defoe, Daniel. MEMOIRS OF A CAVALIER. A. Bell; J. Osborn; W. Taylor; T. Warner (1720). Or A Military Journal Of The Wars In Germany, And The Wars In England; From The Year 1632, To The Year 1648; Written Threescore Year Ago By An English Gentleman Who Served First In The Army Of Gustavus Adolphus, The Glorious King Of Sweden, Till His Death; And After That, In The Royal Army Of King Charles The First, From The Beginning Of The Rebellion, To The End Of That War.
Defoe, Daniel. THE HISTORY OF THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF MR. DUNCAN CAMPBELL. E. Curll (1720). A Gentleman Who Tho Deaf And Dumb, Writes Down Any Strangers Name At First Sight: With Their Future Contingencies Of Fortune; The Second Edition Corrected; Engraved Portrait Frontispiece By Vander Grucht.
Defoe, Daniel. A new Voyage round the World, by a Course never sailed before. Printed for A. Bettesworth and W. Mears (1725). Being A Voyage Undertaken By Some Merchants, Who Afterwards Proposed The Setting Up An East-India Company In Flanders; Illustrated With Copper Plates.
Defoe, Daniel. THE MILITARY MEMOIRS OF CAPT. GEORGE CARLETON. E. Symon (1728). Illustrating Some Of The Most Remarkable Transactions, Both By Sea And Land, During The Reigns Of King Charles And King James Ii, Hitherto; Unobserved By All The Writers Of Those Times; From The Dutch War, 1672. In Which He Servd, To The Conclusion Of The Peace At Utrecht, 1713 .
Defoe,Daniel. Secret Memoirs. J. Milan and J. Chrichley (1732). Of The Late Mr. Duncan Campbel; The Famous Deaf And Dumb Gentleman; Written By Himself, Who Ordered They Should Be Publishd After His Decease; To Which Is Added, An Appendix, By Way Of Vindication Of Mr. Duncan Campbell, Against That Groundless Aspersion Cast Upon Him, That He But Pretended To Be Deaf And Dumb.
Defoe, Daniel. A Tour through the Whole Island of Great Britain. J. Osborn (1742). Divided Into Circuits Or Journeys; Giving A Particular And Entertaining Account Of Whatever Is Curious, And Worth Observation
Defoe, Daniel. Histoire des Avanturiers Flibustiers qui se sont signalez dans les Indes. Par la Compagnie, Trevoux (1744). 4 Volumes; Illustrated By Rousset and Liebaux
Defoe,Daniel. MEMOIRS OF A CAVALIER. Printed Lister sold by Scolfield, Leeds England (1750). Or, A Military Journal Of The Wars In Germany And The Wars In England From The Year 1632 To The Year 1648.
Defoe,Daniel. A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain. D. Browne, T. Osborne (1761). Divided Into Circuits Or Journies
Defoe, Daniel. La Vie et les Aventures Surprenantes de Robinson Crusoe. Laurent Prault (1784). 6 Volumes; Plates Engraved By C.J.B. Chatelain From Designs By Bernard Picart; Translated By J. Van Effen And Themiseul De Saint-Hyacinthe.
Defoe, Daniel. The Life and most Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner. B. Law (1785). Who Lived Twenty-Eight Years In An Uninhabited Island On The Coast Of America, Near The Mouth Of The Great River Oronoque; Three Volumes.
Defoe, Daniel. The Life and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner. John Stockdale (1790). Who Lived Eight and Twenty Years All Alone In An Uninhabited Island On The Coast Of America, Near The Mouth Of The Great River Of Oroonoque, Having Been Cast On Shore By Shipwreck, Wherein All The Men Perished But Himself; With An Account [Of] How He Was At Last As Strangely Deliverd By Pyrates. Written By Himself; [Continued In Volume Two As:] The Farther Adventures Of Robinson Crusoe; Being The Second And Last Part Of His Life, And Of The Strange Surprizing Account Of His Travels Round Three Parts Of The Globe; Written By Himself. [Including] The Life Of Daniel De Foe, By George Chalmers.
Defoe, Daniel. Memoirs Of The Honourable Col. Andrew Newport, A Shropshire Gentleman. Edward Jeffery and R. Faulder (1792). Who Served As A Cavalier In The Army Of Gustavus Adolphus In Germany, And In That Of Charles The First In England; Containing Anecdotes And Characters Of The Principal Persons Of That Time; The Whole Forming A Complete Military History Of Germany And England Towards The Middle Of The Seventeenth Century; A New Edition, With Additions
Defoe, Daniel. The Life and Most Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner. A. Millar, W. Law, and R. Cater (1797). Full Title Is The Life And Most Surprising Adventures Of Robinson Crusoe, Of York Mariner Who Lived Eight-And-Twenty Years In An Unin-Habited Island On The Coast Of America Near The Mouth Of The Great River Oroonoque With An Account Of His Deliverance Thence, And His After Surprising Adventures.
Defoe, Daniel. La vie et les aventures de Robinson Crusoe. H. Verdiere (1800). Three Volumes; Preface By C. Montlinot And Vie De Daniel De Foe (Life Of Daniel Defoe) By A.G. Labaume In Volume One.
Defoe, Daniel. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. John Stockdale (1804). Written By Himself; With An Account Of Daniel De Foe By George Chalmers; Complete In Two Volumes; 17 Plates Designed By Stothard, Engraved By Medland (Including Two Engraved Title Pages With Vignettes And A Portrait Of The Author Opposite Page 379 In The Second Volume, The Title Page To The Life Of Daniel Defoe By George Chalmers.
Defoe, Daniel. Memoirs of Capt. George Carleton. James Ballantine and Co. For Archibald Constable and Co., Edinburgh; and J.Murray (1808). An English Officer; Including Anecdotes Of The War In Spain Under The Earl Of Peterborough, And Many Interesting Particulars Relating To The Manners Of The Spanish In The Beginning Of The Last Century; Written By Himself; Edited, 15Pp Preface By Walter Scott
Defoe, Daniel. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. T. Cadell and W. Davies (1820). Embellished With Engravings From Designs By Thomas Stothard; 2 Volumes; Illustrated With 22 Copper Engraved Plates.
Defoe, Daniel. The Life and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. Cochrane and Pickersgill (1831). Of York, Mariner; With Introductory Verses By Bernard Barton, And Illustrated With Numerous Engravings From Drawings By George Cruikshank Expressly Designed For This Edition; Engraved Frontispiece In Both Volumes And Woodcuts In The Text; 2 Volumes.
Defoe Daniel. Les Aventures De Robinson Crusoe. Bruxelles: Meline, Bruxelles (1837). 2 Volumes; Illustrated By Louis De Sainson
Defoe, Daniel. Aventures De Robinson Crusoe. H. Fournier (1840). Traduction Nouvelle; Edition Illustree Par Granville; Total 750 Copies.
Defoe, Daniel. The History and Reality of Apparitions. Thomas Tegg (1840). First Published By Defoe In 1727 Under The Pseudonym Andrew Moreton, Under The Title The Secrets Of The Invisible World Disclosd Or, An Universal History Of Apparitions Sacred And Profane, Under All Denominations; Whether, Angelical, Diabolical, Or Human Souls Departed.
Defoe, Daniel. The novels and miscellaneous works. Thomas Tegg, Oxford (1840). With A Biographical Memoir Of The Author, Literary Prefaces To The Various Pieces, Illustrative Notes, Etc., Including All Contained In The Edition Attributed To The Late Sir Walter Scott, With Considerable Additions; 20 Volumes.
Defoe, Daniel. The Secrets of the Invisible World Disclosd. D. A. Talboys for Thomas Tegg, Oxford (1840). Or, An Universal History Of Apparitions Sacred And Profane Under All Denominations; Whether Angelical, Diabolical, Or Human Souls Departed. (History And Reality Of Appartions); In One Volume.
Defoe, Daniel. The life and adventures of Robinson Crusoe. David Bogue (1847). Of York, Mariner; With An Account Of His Travel Round Three Parts Of The Globe; With Illustrations By Thomas Stothard; Engraved By Charles Heath.
Defoe, Daniel. Romances and Narratives. J. M. Dent and Co. (1895). Edited By George A. Aitken, Illustrations By J. B. Yeats; 500 Copies; 16 Volumes.
Defoe, Daniel. The Works of Daniel Defoe. George D. Sproul (1905). With The Authors Prefaces, And Introductions By G.H. Maynadier; The Titles Are Robinson Crusoe ( Volumes I + Ii + Iii); Duncan Campbell; Memoirs Of A Cavalier; Captain Singleton; Moll Flanders (Volumes I + Ii); Journal Of The Plague Year; Colonel Jacque (Volumes I + Ii); The Fortunate Mistress (Volumes I + Ii); A New Voyage Round The World; Preparations For The Plague; And The King Of The Pirates; 16 Volumes ; 1000 Registered Sets.
Defoe, Daniel. THE LIFE AND STRANGE ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE. Houghton Mifflin, Boston (1908). Four Volumes; Illustrated By Stothard
Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe. Cosmopolitan Book Corporation (1920). With Color Frontispiece, Pictorial Title, And Twelve Plates By N. C. Wyeth.
Defoe, Daniel. Das Leben und die ganz ungemeinen Begebenheiten des weltberuhmten Engellanders Robinson Crusoe. Insel Verlag, Leipzig (1922). Mit 31 Steinzeichnungen Von Richard Janthur; 800 Copies.
Defoe, Daniel. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner. Constable and Company LTD (1925). Written By Himself; With An Introduction By Charles Whibley [Together With] The Farther Adventures Of Robinson Crusoe Being The Second Part Of His Life. Written By Himself. [And] Serious Reflections During The Life And Surprising Adventures Of Robinson Crusoe. With His Vision Of The Angelik World; 3 Volumes; 775 Copies.
Defoe, Daniel. A Tour Thro the Whole Island of Great Britain, Divided into Circuits or Journies.. Peter Davies (1927). Giving A Particular And Diverting Account Of Whatever Is Curious And Worth Observation; Particularly Fitted For The Reading Of Such As Desire To Travel Over The Island; With Which Is Included, A Set Of Maps Of England And Wales, Divided Into Counties; And A Map Of Scotland; Composed By Herman Moll, Geographer; With An Introduction By G.D.H. Cole; 2 Volumes; 48 Maps; 000 Copies.
Defoe, Daniel. The Novels and Selected Writings of Daniel Defoe. Shakespeare Head Press, Oxford (1928). The Shortest Way With The Dissenters. Robinson Crusoe. Memoirs Of A Cavalier. Colonel Jack; Captain Singleton; A Journal Of The Plague Year. Moll Flanders. The Fortunate Mistress. A Plan Of The English Commerce; 14 Volumes; 750 Sets; 500 Sets Of The Large Paper Edition; Titles Include Moll Flanders; Colonel Jack; Captain Singleton; Memoirs Of A Cavalier; Robinson Crusoe; A Journal Of The Plague Year; The Fortunate Mistress; Shortest Way With The Dissenters; English Commerce.
Defoe, Daniel. A Tour Thro' London. Batsford (1929). About The Year 1725 Containing A Description Fo The City Of London As Taking In The City Of Westminster, Borough Of Southwark And Parts Of Middlesex Reprinted From The Text Of The Original Edition [1724-1726]. Edited and Annotated By Sir Mayson M.Beeton And E.Beresford Chancellor. Total 350 Copies.
Defoe, Daniel. The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders. John Lane The Bodley Head Ltd (1929). A New Edition, With Illustrations And Decorations By John Austen And An Introduction By W.H. Davies; 16 Full Page Illustrations Including Frontispiece Plus Several Other Drawings
Defoe, Daniel. The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner. Etchells and Macdonald (1929). 1500 Copies Signed By The Artist, E. Mcknight Kauffer; 535 Copies Printed On All-Rag Paper; Glasgow University Press; Illustrated With Eight Hand-Colored Pochoir Plates By E. Mcknight Kauffer.
Defoe, Daniel. The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner. Limited Editions Club (1930). With The Illustrations By Edward A; Wilson And The Introduction By Ford Madox Ford; 1500 Numbered Copies Signed By Wilson; Designed, Printed, And Bound At The Grabhorn Press,
Defoe, Daniel. Vida y extranas y sorprendentes aventuras de Robinson Crusoe. Viau, Buenos Aires (1945). Marinero De York, Escritas Por El Mismo; Ilustraciones En Negro Y Colores De Carybe. Traduccion Julio Cortazar; Total 5040 Copies.
Defoe, Daniel. The Fortunes And Misfortunes Of The Famous Moll Flanders. Limited Editions Club (1954). With Illustrations By Reginald Marsh; Introduction By John T. Winterich; 1500 Copies; The Printing Was Done By Peter Beilenson In Mount Vernon And The Illustrations, Colored Through Stencils In The Studio Of Martha Berrien, Were Drawn By Reginald Marsh.
Defoe, Daniel. The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Cruesoe of York.. The Basilisk Press (1979). Introduced And Illustrated By Edward Gordon Craig; 515 Copies; 25 Numbered Copies With Ten Original Woodcut Prints By Edward Gordon Craig.