Defoe, the De la Faye letters and Mercurius Politicus

Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R. (2000). Defoe, the De la Faye letters and Mercurius Politicus. British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 23(1) pp. 13–19.



This article presents a new interpretation of the famous series of six letters written by Defoe in 1718 to Charles Delafaye, the Under-Secretary of State, in which he describes himself as having been employed by the Whig government to pass himself off as a Tory and insinuate himself into the management of Tory journals in order to weaken their attacks on the Whigs. It argues that these letters were a fiction, and that Defoe was instead deceiving his own Government paymasters.

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