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  • Lucy Lambert Cotswolds Guided Tours

The Cotswolds & Robinson Crusoe


The Cotswolds region is fascinating, if you love beautiful villages, amazing history & quirky tales then this is indeed the place to visit! With beautiful manor houses, tiny workers cottages, stunning farms, gentle streams & glorious countryside. The Cotswolds lives up to visitors expectations of 'traditional English countryside'. Many authors have found inspiration from the landscape, the peace & tranquility of this tiny patch of rural England. But some of you may not imagine there would be a link between Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe & a tiny Cotswolds village, well that's where your wrong!

If any of you have read this classic tale you will know that Robinson Crusoe tells the story of a young and impulsive Englishman who takes to the seas seeking adventure, defying his parents' wishes. Crusoe is then shipwrecked on a remote tropical island for 28 years.

We will have to travel back in time to find the link that inspired Defoe's Robinson Crusoe......A gentleman by the name of Thomas Dover was born in 1660, his career was as remarkable as he was eccentric. As a young man Dover cured himself of smallpox, this involved blood letting, locking himself (naked) into a fireless room with windows opened wide, then downing a large quantity of beer, acidulated with 'spirit of vitriol'. In 1700 he led a privateering expeditiion to Peru, and became extremely wealthy. During his time in South America Dover, rescued Alexander Selkirk from the island of Mas a Tierra (now known as Robinson Cruseo's Island). When Dover rescued him, Selkirk had been marooned on the island for over 4 years, it was this experience that inspired Defoe's work. In 1709, Dover supported by other privateers, sacked the town of Guayaquil, the group took much blunder & slept overnight in a church , where recent plague victims had been buried. Within 2 days over 200 of the privateers fell ill. Dover, ever resourceful treated them with a mixture of blood letting & an application of dilute sulphuric acid, amazingly only 8 died! After returning from his adventures, he returned to England in 1728 and settled in the tiny village of Stanway, Dover became friendly with the Tracey family, the owners of Stanway House & he lived in Stanway until his death in 1742. Dover is buried in the Tracey family vaults in churchyard of Stanway. Stanway is one of the beautiful little villages that we visit during our Cotswolds Highlights Tour.

Cotswolds Guided Tours are filled with fascinating history & quirky facts. We love to share with you the beauty & unusual history as we travel through this fantatsic region.

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