The issue of bibliography

The issue of bibliography, the number of works written by Defoe, has been a problem for Defoe scholars since Furbank and Owens wrote A Critical Bibliography of Daniel Defoe, in 1998. These authors suggested a reduction in the number of works ascribed to Defoe from 552 to 252. They criticised Defoe scholars for the manner in which works were added to Defoe’s canon over the years. This subject was discussed by scholars at the Defoe Conference in Worcester in July of this year. While no votes were taken,  it seemed to be true that most scholars accepted that Furbank and Owens were right in their approach. There would be bound to be disagreements on the ascription of particular works but  it was open to any scholar to disagree with a de-attribution if he had good reasons to do so. It may be that the Society’s new Committee will look at the matter again.