Daniel Defoe: The Consolidator

(1179 words)
  • Penny Pritchard (University of Hertfordshire)

The Consolidator is a remarkable hybrid of fantasy mixed with contemporary social and political satire. Unique in Defoe's canon for its settings (including, among other places, China and the moon), its material derives from the more familiar Defoean context of urban life in early eighteenth-century England. The name of the work was inspired by a political crisis in November 1704, one which nearly ousted from power the moderate Tory government of Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford (1661-1724). Tensions in Parliament, already strained over the issue of civil liberties for Protestant Dissenters (q.v.), came close to breaking point when High Church (q.v.) Tory zealots tried (for a third time in three years) to pass an Occasional …

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Pritchard, Penny. "The Consolidator". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 January 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1183, accessed 29 September 2016.]