The history of projects

Daniel Defoe (1660 – 1731) war ein englischer Schriftsteller, der durch seinen Roman Robin Crusoe weltberühmt wurde. Defoe gilt als einer der Begründer des englischen Romans.

Defoe wrote the book „Robin Crusoe“ in 1692 or 1693, when his age was a year or two over thirty, and he published it in 1697.

„The History of Projects.

When I speak of writing a History of Projects, I do not mean either of the introduction of, or continuing, necessary inventions, or the improvement of arts and sciences before known, but a short account of projects and projecting, as the word is allowed in the general acceptation at this present time; and I need not go far back for the original of the practice.

Invention of arts, with engines and handicraft instruments for their improvement, requires a chronology as far back as the eldest son of Adam, and has to this day afforded some new discovery in every age.

The building of the Ark by Noah, so far as you will allow it a human work, was the first project I read of; and, no question, seemed so ridiculous to the graver heads of that wise, though wicked, age that poor Noah was sufficiently bantered for it: and, had he not been set on work by a very peculiar direction from heaven, the good old man would certainly have been laughed out of it as a most senseless ridiculous project.

The building of Babel was a right project; for indeed the true definition of a project, according to modern acceptation, is, as is said before, a vast undertaking, too big to be managed, and therefore likely enough to come to nothing.


The Project Gutenberg eBook, An Essay upon Projects, by Daniel Defoe, Edited by Henry Morley