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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Shaftesbury is also on the edge of this county, adjoining to Wiltshire and
Dorsetshire, being 14 miles from Salisbury, over that fine down or carpet ground,
which they call particularly, or properly Salisbury Plain. It has neither house or
town in ...
I come now to that part of the country, which joins itself to Wiltshire, which I
reserved, in particular, to this place, in order to give some account of the broad-
cloth manufacture. As the east, and south parts of Wiltshire are, as I have already
These are brought to market new, and eaten so; but then this holds only for the
two first summer months of the year, May and June, or little more. Besides this,
the farmers in Wiltshire, and the part of Gloucestershire adjoining, send a very
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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