Daniel Defoe: Memoirs of a Cavalier; or A Military Journal of the Wars in Germany, and the Wars in England. From the Years 1632 to 1648

(2264 words)
  • Nicholas Seager (Keele University)

The essence of Daniel Defoe’s Memoirs of a Cavalier is captured by its subtitle: A Military History of the Wars in Germany and the Wars in England, from 1632 to 1648. It follows an anonymous but individuated hero through a bipartite military career, including major battles in the Thirty Years War and the English Civil War. Given this historical setting it has been considered a precocious historical novel (Backscheider 1986) nearly a century before Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley (1814). Otherwise, it has been questioned whether the titular character is sufficiently developed or the narration sufficiently complex to consider the Memoirs as anything more than a patchy chronicle with a fictional …

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Citation:
Seager, Nicholas. "Memoirs of a Cavalier; or A Military Journal of the Wars in Germany, and the Wars in England. From the Years 1632 to 1648". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 March 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=21937, accessed 20 September 2014.]