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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The wester Galloway, which is also called the shire of Wig- toun, from the town of
Wigtoun, its capital, runs out with a peninsula, so far into the sea, that from the
utmost shores, you see the coast of Ireland very plain, as you see Calais from ...
We now entered the shire of Air, full north from the Mull of Galloway, and as
before, we coasted the south Bay or Firth of Solway, parting England from
Scotland. The shire of Air is divided into three parts, Carrick, Kyle, and
Cunningham. Carrick ...
The town is the capital of that division of the shire of Ayre, which they call
Cunningham, and is really within the Firth of Clyde, though not actually within the
river itself; they cannot but go beyond their neighbours of Greenock, who
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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