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 breadth of this walk is very spacious on the north side, on the east side it is
narrower; but neither at Versailles, or at any of the royal palaces in France, or at
Rome, or Naples, have I ever seen any thing like it. The grand seignior's terrace
For the Southwark side of the buildings, the line is as follows; I allow an interval of
two miles, from Poplar, cross the Isle of Dogs, and over the Thames, to the lower
water-gate at Deptford, and though in measuring the circumference of all cities, ...
Together with this continued ascent, which, I think, 'tis easy to form an idea of in
the mind, you are to suppose the edge or top of the ascent so narrow, that the
street, and the row of houses on each side of it, take up the whole breadth; so that
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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