Booktalk begins the New Year with a second CD lecture from the collection entitled the Classics of British Literature. Dr. John Sutherland, the Lord Northcliffe Professor Emeritus of Moderrn English Literture at University College London, has chosen “Defoe—Crusoe and the Rise of Capitalism” for his talk. According to the professor Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) is the first great novelist in English literature. He published Robinson Crusoe in 1791 in the early years of the evolution of English capitalism. Sutherland calls Defoe an active entrepreneur who was a “homo economicus” of his time and has presented Crusoe as the embodiment of the adventurous, ambitious, acquisitive “gogetter.” Ironically, Defoe was a much better journalist and political gadfly than he was a successful businessman. He endured bankruptcy several times in his life.
Daniel Defoe was a diverse, prolific and tireless writer—poet, novelist, essayist, journal editor, and political pamphleteer. He was noted for his dramatic realism, empathetic approach to his characters, vivid description and exciting adventure. In additon to Crusoe he wrote Journal of the Plague Year, Moll Flanders, Captain Singleton, Colonel Jack and Roxanna. Most of his novels were published in the last decade of his life.
This writer lived in turbulent times. As a protestant dissenter Defoe supported King William, Queen Anne and the Whig party in opposition to the Stuart Royalists and the Tories. Often in trouble politically Defoe was arrested, charged with seditious libel and sentenced to the pillory. His political connections won him release and he received a commission to facilitate the Act of Union between England and Scotland in 1705.
Local poets Gladys Parks and Seth Shimkonis will read from their work at Booktalk on Monday February 27. Watch for next article.
Friends of the Library News
The Friends of the Library has a book store which offers a wide variety of gently used, attractive and interesting books for sale. It is located on the first floor of the Gettysburg Library just inside the Baltimore St. entrance. Drop in and ask about becoming a member. Membership provides a 20% discount on most materials in the book store.
Book Store Hours Monday –Thursday 9:30 am—8:00 pm
Saturday 9:30 am—4:30 pm
Sunday 1:00 pm—4:30 pm
PLEASE NOTE: There will be no evening hours in the book store during the months of January and February
Attention authors and writers! Do you have a fiction or non-fiction book published (or not) you want to discuss? Do you have something you have written that you want to discuss with an audience? Are there members of civic or social groups who may want to discuss their mission and activities? Let me know at 337-1155.
Submitted by Bob Appleton, Library Volunteer.