A Journal of the Plague Year

A Journal of the Plague Year
Dover Publications
Defoe, Daniel
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A Journal of the Plague Year


The haunting cry of `Bring out your dead!` by a bell-ringing collector of 17th-century plague victims has filled readers across the centuries with cold terror. The chilling cry survives in historical consciousness largely as a result of this classic 1722 account of the epidemic of bubonic plague - known as the Black Death - that ravaged England in 1664-1665. Actually written nearly 60 years later by Daniel Defoe, the `Journal` is narrated by a Londoner named `H. F.`, who allegedly lived through the devastating effects of the pestilence and produced this eyewitness account. Drawing on his considerable talents as both journalist and novelist, Defoe reconstructed events both historically and fictionally, incorporating realistic, memorable details that enable the novel to surpass even firsthand accounts in its air of authenticity. This verisimilitude is all the more remarkable since Defoe was only five years old when the actual events took place. Long a staple of college...

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