Travelling then around Europe for three years, Defoe
started his writer's career with bitter pamphlets against
Back to England and
bankrupt, writing became a more prominent part of his life.
The True-Born Englishman (1701), a pamphlet,
was his first success. But in July 1703, he was pillioried
for "The Shortest Way with the Dissenters".
On the edge of imprisonment for debts, Defoe
contacted an old friend, Robert Harley, Speaker of
Parliament, whom he probably knew from his spying days in
Scotland, and ended up with a job as a pamphleteer for all
kinds of opinions, Tories and Whigs alike.
After the tremendous success of
Robinson Crusoe in 1719, Defoe went on with Moll Flanders
three years later, using his experience at the Newgate
prison as raw material.