Daniel Defoe

Daniel Defoe

Daniel Defoe

Daniel Defoe

Excerpt

The whitest thing in Bunhill Fields, the old Dissenters' Burial-Ground off the City Road, London, is the granite obelisk erected in 1870 over the bones of Daniel Defoe, and newly cleaned in 1949. Nearby in that small and crowded plot opposite Wesley's Chapel lie John Bunyan the tinker and William Blake the hosier's son, and the parents of Oliver Cromwell, and Isaac Watts who wrote hymns, and Thomas Stothard who illustrated Robinson Crusoe . It is also, this monument to Defoe, very nearly the tallest thing standing, in 1952, between Bunhill Fields and the gaunt and scaffolded tower of St. Giles-in-Cripplegate, nearly half a mile to the south. Were it not for a projecting wing of the artillery barracks, one could stand beside Defoe's grave today and look almost to Guildhall over the flat wilderness left by the German bombers in the parish of St. Giles, where nearly three centuries earlier the Plague began and the Fire stopped. Spared by that famous conflagration that Defoe perhaps remembered and certainly recorded, all that area he knew so well lies now like a map, with the ragwort and the fireweed growing over it and low walls and fences to mark the streets: Bunhill Row where Milton came to live in his old age, Ropemaker Street where Defoe himself died almost secretly, Milton Street that was once Grub Street of the hacks and booksellers, and so down to Fore Street where Defoe's father . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.