Captain Singleton DEF 2


CAPTAIN SINGLETON recounts the tale of Bob Singleton, a man who goes to sea at the age of twelve, makes a fortune, loses it, and makes another as a pirate before he ultimately reforms. Defoe here offers a searching exploration of society from the point of view of its outcasts. Originally was published in 1720, a year after ROBINSON CRUSOE, when Daniel Defoe was fifty-nine, CAPTAIN SINGLETON is an absorbing and delightful tale. Twenty years before had seen THE TRUE-BORN ENGLISHMAN and THE SHORTEST WAY WITH THE DISSENTERS; and we are told that from "June 1687 to almost the very week of his death in 1731 a stream of controversial books and pamphlets poured from his pen commenting upon and marking every important passing event." The fecundity of Defoe as a journalist alone surpasses that of any great journalist we can name, and we may add that the style of CAPTAIN SINGLETON, like that of ROBINSON CRUSOE, is so perfect that there is not a single ineffective passage, or indeed a weak sentence, to be found in the book.

Abridged and simplified version
Level C

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