Synopses & Reviews
Actually written sixty years after the plague of 1665 swept through London, Defoe brings the city to life in all of its hardship and fear. With a wealth of detail, A Journal of the Plague Year seems almost a firsthand account, taking readers through the neighborhoods, houses, and streets that have drastically changed with the rising death toll. The bustle of business and errands gives way to doors marked with the cross to signify a house of death, as well as the dead-carts transporting those struck down to the mass graves as the dead rise in number to nearly 100,000. As the epidemic progresses and the narrator encounters more stories of isolation and horror, Defoe reveals his masterful balance as both a historical and imaginative writer.