About the BookClassic 1722 account of Great Plague of London that ravaged England nearly 60 years earlier. Defoe writes the story as an eyewitness report and the novel abounds in memorable, realistic details.
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 eye witness 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 literature courses, A Journal of the Plague Year will fascinate students, teachers, and general readers alike.