91 Defoe illustration

In 1702, in an era of religious persecution in England, Daniel Defoe (author of Robinson Crusoe) published a fake pamphlet called “The Shortest Way with the Dissenters.” It proposed that—rather than barring non-Anglicans from office­—it would be faster and easier to exterminate them. Some people believed the pamphlet was real, which so humiliated Anglicans that they had Defoe briefly imprisoned—during which time he produced some wonderful writing.

http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/beyond-prisons/5-protests-that-shook-the-world-with-laughter