This book is remarkable for the number of schemes suggested in it which have since been carried into practice. It is practical in the highest degree, while running over with fresh speculation that seeks everywhere the well-being of society by growth of material and moral power. There is a wonderful fertility of mind, and almost whimsical precision of detail, with good sense and good humor to form the groundwork of a happy English style. Defoe in this book ran again and again into sound suggestions that first came to be realized long after he was dead. Upon one subject, indeed, the education of women, we have only just now caught him up. Defoe wrote the book in1692 or 1693, when his age was a year or two over thirty, and he published it in 1697.