An Essay Upon Projects


An Essay Upon Projects (1697) was the first volume published by Daniel Defoe.[1] It begins with a portrait of his time as a "Projecting Age"[2] and subsequently illustrates plans for the economic and social improvement of England,[3] including an early proposal for a national insurance scheme.

Many of its issues were later revised in a series of pamphlets which were published under the nom-de-plume of Andrew Moreton.[1] They are titled Every-body's Business, Is No-body's Business (1725), The Protestant Monastery (1726), Parochial Tyranny (1727), Augusta Triumphans (1728) and Second Thoughts are Best (1729).[1] Compared to these works, however, An Essay Upon Projects is more focused on moral criticism than being project-oriented.[4]

A list of the chapters
  • Author's Preface - to Dalby Thomas, Esq.
  • Author's Introduction
  • The History of Projects
  • Of Projectors
  • Of Banks
  • Of the Highways
  • Of Assurances
  • Of Friendly Societies
  • The Proposal is for a Pension Office
  • Of Wagering
  • Of Fools
  • Of Bankrupts
  • Of Academies
  • Of a Court Merchant
  • Of Seamen
  • The Conclusion
  1. ^ a b c P B, Backscheider (1989). Daniel Defoe.His Life. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 517. 
  2. ^ D, Defoe (1887). An Essay Upon Projects. London, Paris, New York and Melboune: Cassell & Company. 
  3. ^ "Social Projects". Indiana University Bloomington. 2008. Retrieved 10 September 2015. 
  4. ^ M E, Novak (2001). Daniel Defoe. Master of Fictions. United States of America: Oxford University Press. p. 680. 
  • Backscheider, P B, Daniel Defoe.His Life, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1989.
  • “Social Projects”, Daniel Defoe. The Collection of the Lily Library, Indiana University Bloomington, 2008, retrieved 25 October 2015, <>
  • George, M D, London Life in the Eighteenth Century, Penguin Books, Great Britain, 1979.
  • Maldonado, T, “Defoe and the ‘Projecting Age’”,MIT Press, vol. 18, no. 1, 2002, pp. 78-85, retrieved 20 October 2015, JSTOR, <>
  • Moore, J R, "Defoe's Persona as Author: The Quaker's Sermon", Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 507-516, retrieved 20 November 2015, JSTOR, <>
  • Novak, M E, “Last Productive Years”,Daniel Defoe Master of Fictions. His Life and Ideas, Oxford University Press, United States of America, 2001.
External links
  • Daniel Defoe. The Collection of the Lily Library
  • An Essay Upon Projects by Daniel Defoe in the Gutenberg Project

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