Lewes History Group Talk | Geoffrey Mead: Mr Defoe's tour through SE England 1724


Zoom - Online, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2DE

Tel: 07312274709

Painting of Daniel Defoe


Daniel Defoe is well known as the author of Robinson Crusoe, but he had a multitude of jobs from failed brick maker to government spy!  His work on travels in Britain at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries was published in 1724 as 'A tour of the whole island of Great Britain'.  This talk looks at aspects of his journey in SE England using mainly modern images of the places he mentions alongside his commentary.

'Defoe's Tour...' is a travelogue through a country in the initial phases of the Industrial Revolution, with growing urban centres and a diverse rural economy; but it was a country that had experienced recent internal strife, great political and religious change.  At the same time, the country was acquiring a nascent world empire with a rapidly expanding industry-based economy.  His tour (or was it his..?) through South East England takes us to places he notes are barely worth a mention (Rye, Winchelsea and Hastings), along with a town being 'devoured by the waters', Brighton, and a site of much licentious behaviour and gambling, Tunbridge Wells. 

His journey through the agricultural landscapes of the Kent countryside, the High Weald forests and along the West Sussex Coastal Plain are described in some detail.  His itinerary takes him west into Hampshire and returns through Surrey and Kent to the capital. The quotations from the'Tour' are illustrated with mainly modern views of the same locations.

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Adult£4.00 per ticket

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