Daniel Defoe was one of the first English novelists. Born in London to Presbyterian dissenters, he survived both the plague and the Great Fire of London in 1666. He joined the Monmouth Rebellion, was arrested for debt, worked as a tax collector, and ran a brick factory. In addition to such adventurous novels as Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders, Defoe composed political tracts, poems, travel books, and hundreds of other writings.
Defoe was a prolific novelist, journalist and pamphleteer. His work is notable for its realism, precision and directness of style. Defoe is also recognized as the first author in modern English literature to write ghost stories.