Pat Rogers’s Defoe’s “Tour” and Early Modern Britain is a positive treatment of an optimistic account. Here is a confident discussion of Daniel Defoe’s Tour thro’ the Whole Island of Great Britain (published in three volumes between 1724 and 1726), one that most fruitfully approaches the context, conception, and contents of Defoe’s work from a number of angles, notably those of form and function, time and place. The key theme is that of Defoe’s work as an epic greeting of the onset of modernization, as represented by the Glorious Revolution of 1688–89 and advances in agriculture, industry, and transportation—the last a topic that greatly fascinates Rogers and to which he gives considerable attention. Indeed, the chapter on Defoe’s account of English roads is particularly interesting, not least in the...

 

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