Readers of RES will be familiar with the ground-breaking work of P N Furbank and W R Owens in reassessing the Defoe canon, an initiative described by Tom Keymer as ‘the most important and salutary development in Defoe studies of the last two decades’ With the publication of A Critical Bibliography of Daniel Defoe (1998), Furbank and Owens have dropped nearly half the titles in J R Moore's Checklist (1960 & 1971) However, in seeking to reduce the canon by ejecting items which lack adequate justification, Defoe's latest bibliographers deny any intention to stifle new attributions On the contrary, they simply call for more rigorous standards to be met before new ascriptions are admitted This essay offers itself as a test case by attempting the first new attribution to Defoe since the publication of the Critical Bibliography The text in question is a brief pamphlet written in the wake of the Worcester affair
In August 1704 the Worcester, an English trading vessel, was seized in the Firth of Forth by officials of the Darien Company Allegations by two of the Worcester's crew led the Scottish authorities to convene an Admiralty Court in Edinburgh to try the captain, Thomas Green, and seventeen others for an act of piracy committed on the coast of Malabar The subsequent execution of Green and two of his officers in Leith on 11 April 1705, amid scenes of wild jubilation, ignited furious opposition against the projected Act of Union on both sides of the border In the Review on 26 April 1705, and in an anonymous pamphlet attributed here, Defoe wrote a critique of the Worcester affair which contributed to its peaceful outcome, and to renewed efforts to pursue the Union of Great Britain
Journal Article. 0 words.
Subjects: Literary Studies (Postcolonial Literature) ; Literary Studies (American) ; Literary Studies (British and Irish)
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