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Chapter Summary

Locke's travel books are of little interest to modernists because of their apparently unreliable character as sources of empirical material. It has been suggested that Locke's interest in travel literature amounted to a form of social anthropology. Travel literature is thought of as peculiarly characteristic of the eighteenth century. It is tempting to think of travel literature as conforming to one type, because early examples are, seldom read today and are comparatively inaccessible. It is often suggested that Bacon had less influence on the development of the scientific revolution than used to be thought because the Royal Society never developed into the structured research institute that he had envisaged. When merging Locke into the pantheon of "British Worthies" or, as has become more common in recent years with the emergence of post-colonial theory, a pandemonium of British villains, his historical specificity is lost and his picture of him becomes anachronistic.

Keywords: Bacon; Locke's travel books; post-colonial theory; travel literature



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