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BBC Radio 4 Checks Out The Pans ... in The Footsteps of Defoe

Circa 1720 Daniel Defoe Passed By

We may well flatter ourelves [and we do] that we have trawled through most of the history of Prestonpans what with McNeil, the Statistical Accounts and the recent millennial blockbuster edited by Jane Bonnar and Annemarie Allan. But we missed Daniel Defoe's undercover visits as the Act of Union was being argued in Scotland's Parliament at the behest of Queen Anne. And we certainly overlooked his return in the 1720s to see how the Union was progressing.

It took a phone call to Historical Society Chairman Jim Forster from BBC Radio 4 to have us all searching Google. On April 2nd the four part series began in Prestonpans, Cockenzie and Port Seton with .....

"....Sarfraz Manzoor retracing Daniel Defoe's journey through Scotland all that time ago as chronicled in A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain.

A supporter of the Act of Union, Defoe set out to see how the two nations had been changed by their great co-mingling; Manzoor's mission is similar.

.... Once a hub of industry and trade, they are now a commuter belt for Edinburgh. Does their heritage still mean anything?"

Annemarie Allan, Pat O'Brien, Andrew Crummy and others provide some answers.

Click HERE to listen

Published Date: April 2nd 2007

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