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Defoe's Tour and Early Modern Britain
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Book description

Authoritative yet accessible, this is the first-ever comprehensive account of a true landmark in eighteenth-century travel writing. Daniel Defoe's Tour thro' the Whole Island of Great Britain is constantly cited even now by students in practically every branch of history, and there are few topics essential to our understanding of the nation in the early modern period that do not show up in its pages. Historians since the late nineteenth century have looked to the Tour as one of the richest and most insightful works describing Britain in the lead-up to the Industrial Revolution, and critics and biographers of Defoe have regularly named it as among his most characteristic and central works. Indispensable for virtually any interdisciplinary approach to the nation in this period, this new study provides wide-reaching, up-to-date analysis of the content of the Tour, and of its methods, sources, form, and vast historical significance.


A major work of scholarship by one of our most eminent and erudite authorities on eighteenth-century literature. Defoe's Tour and Early Modern Britain displays Pat Rogers's unparalleled knowledge of Defoe and his world. Nobody else could have written this book. It is the result of a lifetime of research, an enthusiastic celebration of Defoe's singular achievement in writing A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain. There is something surprising and edifying to learn on every page, for novice and expert readers alike. It will remain a landmark in Defoe scholarship for years to come.

Joseph Hone - Newcastle University

In a career spanning over fifty years, Pat Rogers has produced a body of scholarship of lasting value, erudite, historically informed, and, above all, well-written. Defoe's Tour and Early Modern Britain adds a distinguished chapter to this long history of scholarly excellence. This is Rogers at his best, analysing historical and textual evidence with elegance and wit. Approaching the Tour from various points of interest, Rogers gives us the definitive critical account of Defoe's topographical masterpiece for our time as we mark the tercentenary of its publication.

Albert Rivero - Marquette University

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