Published online by Cambridge University Press: 04 February 2022
Chapter 4 provides the fullest discussion to date of the range of formal devices employed in the Tour. It suggests that Defoe enlists these to build up a regional scheme that will unify his picture of the nation, parallel in some ways to the zones into which modern British highways are divided, with a map to illustrate the process. A table and a map show the larger towns in Britain around 1700, with a population of 5,000 or more, as a basis for discussion of Defoe’s coverage of urban settlements. Further, the chapter provides a comparison with the methods used in previous travel writing, such as antiquarians (John Leland, William Camden) and subsequent authors of literary journeys (for example, Celia Fiennes, John Macky, William Cobbett). It defines the originality of the work within the history of this genre by means of a semiotic square, adapted from the schema developed by A.J. Greimas.