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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Through this town lies the road to Woolwich, a town on the bank of the same river
, wholly taken up by, and in a manner raised from, the yards, and public works,
erected there for the public service; here, when the business of the royal navy ...
There remained in the Downs about twelve sail when this terrible blast began, at
which time England may be said to have received the greatest loss that ever
happened to the royal navy at one time; either by weather, by enemies, or by any
The towns of Rye, Winchelsea, and Hastings, have little in them to deserve more
than a bare mention; Rye would flourish again, if her harbour, which was once
able to receive the royal navy, could be restored; but as it is, the bar is so loaded
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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