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Daniel Defoe: Master of FictionsHis Life and Works$
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Maximillian E. Novak

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199261543

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199261543.001.0001

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The Education of a Dissenter

The Education of a Dissenter

Chapter:
(p.32) 2 The Education of a Dissenter
Source:
Daniel Defoe: Master of Fictions
Author(s):

Maximillian E. Novak

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199261543.003.0014

Little is known about Daniel Defoe’s formal education until he enrolled at Charles Morton’s Dissenting Academy in Newington Green. For so religious a family as the Foes, reading and even memorizing large portions of the Bible would have constituted a major part of their son’s early education. While most of Defoe’s life was spent in the city which he was to eulogize in his Tour Thro’ the Whole Island of Great Britain (1724–7) as ‘the great Center of England’ and as ‘the most glorious Sight without exception...’, he travelled beyond London on a variety of occasions. Although Defoe may have visited such places on occasional trips with his parents, he appears to have spent a considerable time at Dorking in Surrey, where the Marsh family lived. Had Defoe’s parents not been Dissenters, Defoe would have been sent to Oxford or Cambridge for the studies that would have enabled him to take orders as a clergyman.

Keywords:   Daniel Defoe, England, Charles Morton, Dissenting Academy, Dissenters, Bible, education, Dorking, Marsh family, clergyman

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