Tomorrow, we begin reading A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain
I have a nicely illustrated edition for Danny to use, including modern day photographs of the locations mentioned. I think he will love it, but personally I am dreading it. My reasoning for teaching it has to do with the time Defoe was writing in. There's so much going on (the death of James III, Queen Anne, the Treaty of Utrecht, etc.). The Tour gives the reader a last look at Britain before the Industrial Revolution. As a bonus, it provides an opportunity to teach some geography. All good reasons to teach it, I know. I wish I could summon some enthusiasm, but it feels like an ordeal before we've begun. I'm sure I'll snap out of it. Probably.
Any SCA people want to come over and act out Defoe being pilloried in period dress? I promise I won't toss excrement at you*, and I might be persuaded to serve tea.
If I can't make this interesting, I'm really screwed as we're doing Beowulf and the Tain Bo Cuailnge second semester.
* There's unverified accounts that Defoe escaped having shit tossed at him in the pillory as he was so well loved, people threw roses. Likely folklore, but he did only spend a few days there before being bundled off to prison, and sprung shortly thereafter.