Memoirs, Travels, And Adventures, of a Cavalier. by DEFOE, Daniel…

DEFOE, Daniel (1661-1731).

Memoirs, Travels, And Adventures, of a Cavalier. A new Edition, being the Second. In three volumes. Vol. I [-III]. First published from the original Manuscript, by the late Mr. Daniel Defoe, Author of the Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, and many other Books of Entertainment. London, Francis Noble, 1784.

‘Second Edition’, ie. ‘New Edition’. Three Volumes, 8vo (160 x 100 mm), pp. [viii] 232, 236, 234, [6] advertisements, some light foxing throughout, in contemporary tree calf, flat spines ruled in gilt, red morocco labels lettered in gilt, circular numbering labels missing, with John Congreve’s armorial bookplate in each volume.

A scarce edition, under a slightly different title, of Defoe’s Memoirs of a Cavalier, first published in 1720. A work of historical fiction, it is set during the Thirty Years’ War and the English Civil War, with the action taking place in Germany and England. Defoe uses a first person narrative - the story is presented as the discovered memoir of the Shropshire born Colonel Andrew Newport - to unfold political and historical events. Newport leaves for his travels on the Continent in 1630, goes to Vienna and travels with the emperor’s army. He is present at the siege of Magdeburg and describes the sack of the city in vivid detail. He returns to an England in Civil War, joins the king’s army and fights first in Scotland and then against the parliamentarian forces. Critics are divided as to Defoe’s purpose in writing the novel, which is highly political - a warning against the horrors of civil war, an appeal for strong monarchy, an attack on aristocratic kingship - but the novel is also interesting for its portrayal of the cavalier and his martial or masculine identity.

ESTC t21604, listing Birmingham, Cambridge, Leeds, Boston PL, Rice, Alberta and Virginia; OCLC adds Miami.

Keywords: English Literature
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