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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However, the fate of the Radnor family so directing, it was bought with the whole
estate about it, by the late Duke of Newcastle; in a partition of whose immense
estate, it fell to the Right Honourable the Lord Harley, (son and heir apparent of
As this admirable genius, the late Earl, loved paintings, so he had infinite
advantage in procuring them; for he not only travelled three times into Italy, and
stayed every time a considerable while at Florence, but he was so entertained
He lies buried in the parish church of Disdier or Didier, with a fine monument over
him; but not like that lately erected for his son the late Duke. This last mentioned
Duke would require a history rather than a bare mention, in a work of this kind.
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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