John Robert Moore

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John Robert Moore (1890–1973) was an American biographer and bibliographer of Daniel Defoe.


He was the son of an Episcopalian minister, and was born in Colorado. After a degree at the University of Missouri, he took a Ph.D. at Harvard University with a dissertation on ballads. He was appointed associate professor at the University of Indiana in 1922.[1]

Work on Defoe[edit]

In 1930 he became convinced that A General History of the Pyrates was written by Defoe, and announced this finding in 1932.[1] He went on to attribute also Robert Drury's Journal to Defoe alone (going much further than previous bibliographers William Lee who had rejected the idea, Samuel Pasfield Oliver, and William Peterfield Trent). This attribution turned out to be highly controversial.[2] It was criticised by Arthur W. Secord in a 1945 paper.[3][4] In later attacking Moore's work on the Defoe canon as a whole, Rodney Baine picked out the attribution of Robert Drury's Journal as an egregious example.[5]


His works include:

  • Defoe in the Pillory; 1939.
  • Daniel Defoe: Citizen of the Modern World; 1958, University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0-608-09024-7.


  1. ^ a b P. N. Furbank and W. R. Owens (1988), The Canonisation of Daniel Defoe p. 100.
  2. ^ The Canonisation of Daniel Defoe p. 109.
  3. ^ Arthur W. Secord, Defoe and "Robert Drury's Journal", The Journal of English and Germanic Philology Vol. 44, No. 1 (Jan., 1945), pp. 66-73. Stable URL:
  4. ^ The Canonisation of Daniel Defoe p. 111.
  5. ^ The Canonisation of Daniel Defoe p. 155.

Further reading[edit]

  • John Robert Moore: a bibliography (1961), Indiana University.
  • P. N. Furbank and W. R. Owens (1994). Defoe De-Attributions: A Critique of J. R. Moore's Checklist. London: Hambledon Press. ISBN 1-85285-128-7 Google Books.