A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain in 3 volumes
A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain is an account of his travels by English author Daniel Defoe, first published in three volumes between 1724 and 1727.
It is roughly divided into several tours around Britain. Volume 1 contains three letters. The first two, Through Essex, Colchester, Harwich, Suffolk, Norfolk, and Cambridgeshire, and through Kent Coast, Maidstone, Canterbury, Sussex, Hampshire, and Surrey, are complete circuits, both beginning and ending in London. Letter 3 describes a journey out to Land’s End, while Letter 4 starts Volume 2 with the journey back. Letter 5 focuses on London and the Court. Volume 2 ends with Letters 6 and 7 describing a path out to Anglesey and back. Finally, in Volume 3, the narrator begins at the Trent or the Mersey and slowly travels northwards from the Midlands, taking up Letters 8 through 10. Finally, Scotland is divided into three convenient units for Letters 11 through 13.
Defoe did not necessarily travel to all of these locations, and certainly did not travel them as or just before he was writing the work; rather, he relied on his past journeys, likely during his time as a merchant or while working for politician Robert Harley in the early eighteenth century, and, at times, relied on or was inspired by other travel literature such as William Camden’s Britannia and John Strype’s new version of John Stow’s Survey of London.
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About Daniel Defoe
Daniel Defoe (1660 – 1731) was an English writer, trader, journalist, pamphleteer and spy. He is most famous for his novel Robinson Crusoe, published in 1719. He has been seen as one of the earliest proponents of the English novel, and helped to popularise the form in Britain with others such as Aphra Behn and Samuel Richardson. Defoe wrote many political tracts, was often in trouble with the authorities, and spent a period in prison. Intellectuals and political leaders paid attention to his fresh ideas and sometimes consulted him.
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