Critics have argued that a shift toward the “inward” occurred later in eighteenthcentury
travel writing in part because of earlier questions of credibility. However,
John Campbell’s fictional The Travels and Adventures of Edward Brown
(1739) focuses upon the “inward” by drawing upon a technique already used
in novels—that is, depicting the narrator as a consciousness. Consciousness,
or personal identity, derives from John Locke and appears in Campbell’s travel
account to demonstrate how circumstances define the narrator’s travel experiences.
These circumstances at once establish the credibility of the narrator’s
descriptions and also promote Campbell’s Tory commercialism. For the first, the
narrator’s consciousness offers a credible account by describing how people live
in time and place; for the second, the narrator demonstrates how personal identity
and political ideology were attached from the outset, promoting commerce
and colonialism through the narrator’s depiction of a nation’s circumstances that
produce unique customs and commodities.