Like other fictions by Daniel Defoe, The History and Remarkable Life of the Truly Honourable Col. Jacque, Commonly Call’d Col. Jack, draws together various literary genres. Until recently, this heterogeneity has been studied through a mode of ideological critique that privileges novelistic coherence, and Colonel Jack has long been dismissed as an ideological and aesthetic failure. Taking a different approach, this article examines how Defoe's ostensibly broken novel uses a mixture of genres and analogous rather than progressive plot lines to capture and resolve a contemporary problem: the stretching of British legal authority from internal struggles (with criminals, slaves, and Jacobites) to the permeable interimperial boundaries of the Atlantic. Historicized in the development of the illicit trade between Britain and Spanish America, Colonel Jack's famously problematic conclusion -- a remorseless smuggler's adventure -- does not offer a negative example for mercantile morality, but rather serves to theorize a legal regime based on negotiation.
Cervantes, Gabriel A.
"Episodic or Novelistic? Law in the Atlantic and the Form of Daniel Defoe's Colonel Jack,"
2, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.mcmaster.ca/ecf/vol24/iss2/6
Gabriel Cervantes is a postdoctoral fellow in English at Vanderbilt University. His first book, currently in progress, examines the criminal literature and legal pluralism of the early eighteenth-century Anglo-Atlantic.