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Parallel Lives and Literary Legacies: Crusoe's Elder Brother and Defoe's Cavalier
Abstract

Abstract:

Critics have long debated the place of Daniel Defoe's The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1719) in the emerging tradition of the English novel, but they have paid considerably less attention to a work Defoe wrote and published immediately afterwards, The Memoirs of a Cavalier (1720). This essay shows how Defoe recasts the opening opposition between Crusoe and his elder brother, a soldier fighting in the confessional conflicts of Europe, by reinventing Crusoe's brother as a royalist Cavalier. The result is an ambitious, intertextual rewriting of seventeenth century history that attacks the twin premises of aristocratic status and Stuart kingship.