A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain
Britain in the early eighteenth century: an introduction that is both informative and imaginative, reliable and entertaining. To the tradition of travel writing Daniel Defoe brings a lifetime's experience as a businessman, soldier, economic journalist and spy, and his Tour (1724-6) is an invaluable source of social and economic history. But this book is far more than a beautifully written guide to Britain just before the industrial revolution, for Defoe possessed a wild, inventive streak that endows his work with astonishing energy and tension, and the Tour is his deeply imaginative response to a brave new economic world. By employing his skills as a chronicler, a polemicist and a creative writer keenly sensitive to the depredations of time, Defoe more than achieves his aim of rendering 'the present state' of Britain.
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there an Englishman to be seen, or an English family to be found among them.
On the contrary, you have in England abundance of Scotsmen, Scots customs,
words, habits, and usages, even more than becomes them; nay, even the
This may be given as a reason, and, I believe, is the only reason why so many
more of the Scots servants, which go over to Virginia, settle and thrive there, than
of the English, which is so certainly true, that if it goes on for many years more, ...
It is twenty Scots miles from Dundee to Montrose, the way pleasant, the country
fruitful and bespangled, as the sky in a clear night with stars of the biggest
magnitude, with gentlemen's houses, thick as they can be supposed to stand with
What people are saying - Write a review
This journal of a series of trips "circuits" around England in the 1720's is part travelogue, part witty examination of legends, fables, & "history, part economic catalog, and part survery of facts of England.
It's written by Daniel Defoe-writer, journalist, soldier, & spy. Although less well known than some of his other works, it's well written and worth the effort.
The book captures England on the cusp of dramatic change. England was emerging into peace and prosperity after decades of dynastic and religious wars. Defoe captures English life just at the beginning of industrialization.
While popular with social historians and economists for all the detail it provides about life in this period, Defoe's witty and direct prose make it an interesting read for anyone wanting to learn more about 18th Century England.
A Summary of Defoes Career
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