That must have been terrifying, not knowing when it may come back. Although many people reacted to the plague in unselfish ways, others even committed murder to save themselves, often getting off without any consequences. I am impressed by this book because of its matter-of-fact approach towards the plague. The novel is often compared to the actual, contemporary accounts of the plague in the diary of. Many refugees starve to death, others succumb to the unmerciful disease, the very brave stay in London, those who work for the city government, the least well off remain, too, nowhere to go, the hardest hit, and die some in the streets, their minds inflamed by illness, babbling words incomprehensible, before dropping to the ground. Of course, I'm not even sure Abracadabra is a real word. It's hard to believe that it all started only a short distance from where I work every day in Holborn.
They agree elsewhere with what was described. A powerful sense of place is created in a claustrophobic, twilight world of rookeries and alleyways. Daniel Defoe, the inventor of the English language novel Robinson Crusoe, 1719 , yet because of his earlier employment, was more a journalist than a novelist, writes a memoir of this catastrophe, almost sixty years later. This was a really hard read. Low-level fear was exploited and as unease grew, so did the number of street astrologers, wizards and quack doctors. While A Journal of the Plague Year is a work of fiction Defoe was only 5 years old in 1665 , it does present an historical account of a truly horrific year in London's history, made even more horrific when the fire of 1666 swept through and claimed even more lives.
Between these points chaos reigns supreme. Overall, the work was thought-provoking and interesting, and it should be read by anyone interested in European history. So I called him, 'Hark thee, friend,' said I, 'come hither, for I believe thou art in health, that I may venture thee'; so I pulled out my hand, which was in my pocket before, 'Here,' says I, 'go and call thy Rachel once more, and give her a little more comfort from me. He relates many stories of mercy, charity, and redemption. One theme in this book would definitely be perseverance in adversity.
It was published as rather than Defoe, and framed as an anonymous autobiography rather than a work of fiction. Three things bear mentioning: First, despite its being written in the years immediately before its publication in 1722, Defoe, to his credit, goes to great lengths, quite successfully so, to create a contemporaneous eyewitness account of the Great Plague of London of 1665, including the relation of specific locales, anecdotes, lists of casualties, and the like. That whole theme could have been reduced to one paragraph. During the following weeks, hundreds, if not thousands, of people died from the plague in various parts of the city. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. In late August, during the worst phase of the outbreak, the author shuts himself indoors for a fortnight. Defoe collected these bills, and other plague ephemera, which must account for the great amount of detail he brings to the text.
At that time, it's likely Defoe also intentioned it to serve as a guide for the future cities struck by the disease. These stories are usually very short except for the one about the three resourceful men: the biscuit-baker, the sail-maker and the joiner. Nonetheless, the point is to suggest physical and psychological traumas that led people to respond in ways that are utterly at variance to their usual ways of living and coping with mundane stresses. With the result that it can often be an irritating read. Keep your bullshit to yourself.
Defoe says with absolute certainty that it was God's will because there was no real reason for the plague to stop killing people all of a sudden, but I am sure to do some further research on the subject after having read about it. This is a work of fiction that presents itself as a work of non fiction it sort of reminded me of World War Z on this point , and the result is very readable. This novel is one of the best accounts of the temper of the times and complements the journal kept by Samuel Pepys. Still, it wasn't a quick read. Interesting tale of the progression of the plague through London the year before the great fire that destroyed most of London.
Historians feel the events portrayed are accurate for the most part, and Defoe obviously made great efforts to inject verisimilitude, or the resemblance to truth, in his narrative. According to the forward by editor David Moore, Cross is the first author to offer a biological explanation for the virus that has set the scene for the Afterblight storyline. He was a Dissenter, a member of a sect of Non-conformists which had been suppressed before the plague, won some freedom during it, according to his narrator, and was suppressed again afterward. Some of the characters might be out of their fucking minds, but they all have context, feel three dimensional. At its peak in late August, early September he believes 8,000 people died per week, and relates the anecdotal claim that 3,000 died in one night alone. Not so great everything else.
More true to journal form than most fictional journals, the entries are a mix of personal experience, personal observation reflection and medication, second hand stories, and general statistic documentation; as such, I found my interest fluctuated greatly from entry to entry, having personally very little interest in statistics beyond general numbers. By this method whole households were condemned to a slow and dreadful death. . The plague is well known since the Middle Ages as an apocalyps. The fear and reality of a contagious, deadly disease are part of our history as human beings as well as part of our present and no doubt our future. He walks out along by Bow to Blackwall Stairs where he meets a solitary lighter-man. My verdict: As I've said in this essay series before, I think to truly enjoy books that are this old, it's important to understand the context in which they were written, and to know what kinds of things were influencing both the author himself and the original audience he was writing for; and so in the case of The Plague Year, understanding this context makes the book much more fascinating than simply its writing quality may make it seem, and is crucial for understanding why I found this such a surprisingly fantastic read.
For a while this information actually has a negative impact, as the people who saw the bills became careless and accidentally spread the plague even further, but thankfully the evidence that the plague was disappearing was validated some time later. Summary: A Journal of the Plague Year is a fictionalised account of one man's experiences of the year 1665, in which the Great Plague struck the city of London. Thus there is nothing resembling a central plot, and I'm also not clear if there's any logic to how this book is structured. Eight point seven out of ten badass horse-riding Roma women. As the pace of the infection picked up during the summer months, the physical and psychological toll is graphically imagined. The Oscar nominated short film 1999 is based on A Journal of the Plague Year.