Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Years

A Journal of the Plague Year

Daniel Defoe

Defoe’s book, a fictional recounting of one man’s reflections during the plague of London, 1665. It begins with the plague beginning to ravage London and the protagonist weighing whether he should flee to the country as so many people of means are doing or stay and stick it out in London.

Sound familiar?

It doesn’t stop there. Soon folks are holed up in their homes, fearful of letting anyone in, then the mechanisms for dealing with the sick and dead are overwhelmed and society is reduced to the barest minimum of food shelter and survival until the whole thing passes.

Defoe wrote this 350 years ago and his language can be a bit difficult for the modern reader, but it was oddly comforting to me to see that London went through this, and so much more, and survived.


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