A Journal of The Plague Year

A Journal of The Plague Year

by Daniel Defoe
3.8 27

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Overview

A Journal of The Plague Year by Daniel Defoe

A Journal of the Plague Year is a novel by Daniel Defoe, 1660-1731, first published in March 1722.

The novel is a fictionalised account of one man's experiences of the year 1665, in which the Great Plague struck the city of London. The book is told roughly chronologically, though without sections or chapter headings.

Although it purports to have been written only a few years after the event, it actually was written in the years just prior to the book's first publication in March 1722. Defoe was only five years old in 1665, and the book itself was published under the initials H. F. The novel probably was based on the journals of Defoe's uncle, Henry Foe.

In the book, Defoe goes to great pains to achieve an effect of verisimilitude, identifying specific neighborhoods, streets, and even houses in which events took place. Additionally, it provides tables of casualty figures and discusses the credibility of various accounts and anecdotes received by the narrator.

The novel often is compared to the actual, contemporary accounts of the plague in the diary of Samuel Pepys. Defoe's account, although fictionalized, is far more systematic and detailed than Pepys's first-person account.

Moreover, it may be compared to the description of the plague in Alessandro Manzoni's The Betrothed (orig. Italian: I Promessi Sposi). Despite of some similarities (for example, both novels were written many years after the end of the plague), the two writers used different techniques: Defoe wrote a work full of detail but used a detached tone, while Manzoni was not only able to reconstruct the general atmosphere of the pestilence-stricken Milan, but also analysed individual responses to the plague with a poetic sensitivity of his own.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492840459
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 09/28/2013
Pages: 294
Product dimensions: 7.44(w) x 9.69(h) x 0.62(d)

About the Author

London-born Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) pursued a variety of careers including merchant, soldier, secret agent, and political pamphleteer. He wrote books on economics, history, biography, and crime. But he is best remembered for his fiction, which he began to write late in his life and which includes the novels Moll Flanders, Roxana, and the celebrated Robinson Crusoe.

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A Journal of the Plague Year 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'A Journal of the Plague Year' is journalistic history, not fiction. Defoe describes an event that happened when he was only an infant. He used family's and other accounts of the last great epidemic of the Black Death to strike England. It is readable and instructive. To me, the most interesting part of the tale, is the 'knowledge' seventeenth-century Londoners had of this disease [Bubonic Plague, Yersinia pestis] before knowledge of microbes and their transmission. Animals, especially dogs, cats and rats, were identified as possible vectors and shot on sight. Infected people were quarantined in their homes, along with uninfected relatives. Although these homes were guarded by armed watchmen, breakouts from quarantine were common. The disease spead and uninfected villages on the outskirts of London, themselves, set out guards preventing panicked refugees from entering and infecting their town. An interesting and human tale of desperation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Defoe's novel is fascinating, but this edition's flaws far overshadow the prose. The editors and Barnes & Noble Books should be ashamed of themselves for putting out such a shabby version of the novel. The text is full of typos (such as the previously noted 'tick' for 'sick'), dropped words, incorrect words ('last' instead of 'first' at the bottom of page 234, for example), and bad formatting (the notes). The additional materials¿contemporary descriptions of the plague¿are vaguely interesting, but not essential. Rather than some inconsequential snippets from Pepys and Boghurst, the editors should have considered a map of London at the time of the plague, annotations, or other materials to help illustrate some of Defoe's more difficult references. Avoid this edition and pick up one of the more professional releases from Oxford or Penguin.
jlacerra More than 1 year ago
It is certainly not appropriate for me to review Daniel Defoe as if he were a modern author. In this book Defoe takes on the guise of a first-hand observer of the London plague of 1665. The language is Olde English and somewhat difficult to wade through sometimes. But the drama of the crisis does come home in many areas. It is a worthwhile read if one can be patient with the archaic language.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book lets readers see life during the plague outbreak. It is very interesting, especially to people interested in this topic. Although it should not be considered a first-hand account, the individual obsevations made by the narrator are very probable. The narrator repeats some main points, but that is just to get one message across: life was scary at that time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book ln the world I like lt!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book still gives an excellent picture of the London Plague centuries after it was written. However, this edition suffers from poor proof-reading. There many misplaced words. To give only one example: on page 180 the author trys to speak of the prodigious number of the 'sick' but is hampered by the proof reader who lets the word 'tick' serve in its place. There are perhaps a half dozen times such as this one where too much reliance on Spell Checker jolts the reader out of the story to remind one that this $5.95 edition is no bargain.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I do like getting the sense of how horrid it was and the use of different ways to contain or avoid the infection.it is just incredably redundant.i hear this is just a version of the original.explains the poor text but. If the original is just as repeditive .it desensitizes the impact london truly much have gone thru
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Guest More than 1 year ago
A plague in today's society would be devastating, and that is the point of this book. It is written as though the accounts were absolutley accurate, and though the editors suggest that this is a novel, there is very little about it that doesn't seem true. It is, though, a difficult read and one that is truly unenjoyable. The concepts are hard to grasp, and the repetition is annoying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read Willowsong's story at spray.book one is at result one,book two is at result two and so on.please rearate and review
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can you meet me at secrets result six
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Right on . good i shall teach her the ways of fire clan and shes honna a be a good warrior
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She crouches by the entrance, ready to alert her Clan if she sees Silvermoonstar or Evil Cats & co. She glances behind her to see the camp resting peacefully-for now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can i rp echokit? -kit-
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Baaaaaaah. Imma sheep."