It is a biographical book. Daniel Defoe (c. 1660 – 24 April 1731), born Daniel Foe, was an English trader, writer, journalist, pamphleteer, and spy, now most famous for his novel Robinson Crusoe. Defoe is notable for being one of the earliest proponents of the novel, as he helped to popularise the form in Britain, and, along with others such as Samuel Richardson, is among the founders of the English novel. A prolific and versatile writer, he wrote more than 500 books, pamphlets and journals on various topics (including politics, crime, religion, marriage, psychology and the supernatural). He was also a pioneer of economic journalism. Daniel Foe (his original name) was probably born in Fore Street, in the parish of St. Giles Cripplegate, London. Defoe later added the aristocratic-sounding 'De' to his name and on occasion claimed descent from the family of De Beau Faux. His birthdate and birthplace are uncertain: sources offer dates of anywhere between 1659 to 1662; considered most likely to be 1660. His father, James Foe, was a prosperous tallow chandler and a member of the Butchers' Company. In Defoe's early life he experienced first hand some of the most unusual occurrences in English history: in 1665, 70,000 were killed by the Great Plague of London and the Great Fire of London (1666) left standing only Defoe's and two other houses in his neighborhood. In 1667, when he was probably about 7, a Dutch fleet sailed up the Medway via the River Thames and attacked the town of Chatham in the raid on the Medway. His mother Annie had died by the time he was about 10.