Barren ground ; A recent review of Paddy King-Fretts' new book and a letter to the WMN (March 18) by Tony Evans, of the Henry Williamson Society, both credit Daniel Defoe with, or infer that he was the author of, the phrase describing Exmoor as a "fil

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From: Western Morning News, The Plymouth (UK)
Date: 20080401
Author:

A recent review of Paddy King-Fretts' new book and a letter to the WMN (March 18) by Tony Evans, of the Henry Williamson Society, both credit Daniel Defoe with, or infer that he was the author of, the phrase describing Exmoor as a "filthy barren ground".

In fact Defoe was only repeating the phrase William Camden used in his Britannia, the first full topographical survey of England, published in 1586, some 74 years before the birth of Defoe.

So who deserves the credit? Not Defoe, that's for sure.

Roger A Burton

Exmoor Historian Barnstaple

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