Atalantis Major is a thinly veiled allegory describing the November 1710 election of the representative Scottish peers. The circumstances which surrounded this election were produced by the outcome of the previous month's General Election--a landslide for the Tories--and, to understand these circumstances, the impact of that Tory victory must be seen within the context of the political events of 1710.
s a Bitter Invective against the D of Argyle, the E of Mar, and the Election of the Peers. It is Certainly Written by Some English man, and I have Some Guess at the Man, but dare not be positive. I have hitherto kept this also from the Press, and believe it will be Impossible for them to get it printed here after the Measures I have Taken. The Party I Got it of pretends the Coppy Came from England, But I am of Another Opinion. I shall Trouble you no farther about it because if possible I can get it Coppyed, I will Transmit the Coppy by Next post, for I have the Originall in My hand. They Expect I shall Encourage and assist them in the Mannageing it, and Till I can Take a Coppy I shall not Undeciev them.
There is no evidence to suggest that Harley doubted Defoe's disclaimer or that Defoe sent the copy to Harley.
Since Defoe was back in London on 13 February 1711, Atalantis Major must have been seen through the press sometime between 26 December and the end of January, not, as Moore li