Daniel Defoe: Conjugal Lewdness

(1056 words)

Daniel Defoe’s Conjugal Lewdness: or, Matrimonial Whoredom was published in 1727, when Defoe was in his late sixties and approaching the end of his life, although the Preface suggests that the book was begun almost thirty years earlier (p. iv). Like so many of Defoe’s works, it immediately provoked controversy. The Introduction describes the adverse response that greeted the advance publicity for the book, with critics attacking the work’s title, which, according to Defoe, was viewed as “a Breach upon Modesty” and offensive to their ears (p. 7). This may in part explain why, in a second edition published a few months after the first, it was more innocuously entitled A Treatise Concerning the Use and …

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Bellamy, Liz. "Conjugal Lewdness". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 March 2005; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=5916, accessed 28 April 2015.]