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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At the farther end of the town, in the middle of a stately park, stood Guldy Hall,
vulgarly Giddy Hall, an ancient seat of one Coke, sometime Lord-Mayor of
London, but forfeited, on some occasion, to the Crown. It is since pulled down to
... close to the river, yet not offended by the rising of its waters in floods, or storms,
near to the reflux of the tides, but not quite so near as to be affected with any
foulness of the water, which the flowing of the tides generally is the occasion of.
The advantage to all other kinds of travelling I omit here; such as the safety and
ease to gentlemen travelling up to London on all occasions, whether to the term,
or to Parliament, to Court, or on any other necessary occasion, which is not a ...
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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