London's Great Plague of 1665 devastated the city, as Europe's final bubonic outbreak killed thousands of helpless citizens. Daniel Defoe, author of the classic Robinson Crusoe, was five years old when the Plague swept through London, and grew up hearing many stories - some truthful, others exaggerated - of its deadly effects. Blending those anecdotes with his childhood recollections and factual data from government registers, Defoe wrote this comprehensive account of what happened to London in 1665. Both a harrowing historical novel and a reliable journalistic record, Defoe recreates a living, suffering city trying to cope with an incurable, rapidly spreading disease.
Writer, merchant, and spy Daniel Defoe, now best known for Robinson Crusoe, presents a fictionalized first-person account of the Great Plague that afflicted London in 1665.
The Journal of the Plague Year: London, 1665 offers detailed, journalistic scenes of shuttered London homes and storefronts and dead bodies on the streets. In some parts of the city, infected families were quarantined as the death toll climbed toward 100,000 and a sense of paranoia and terror pervaded the city.
In an American accent, Nelson Runger serves up a crisp, steady performance of Defoe’s chronicle of a historical disaster.
"...the work stands as the most reliable and comprehensive account of the Great Plague that we possess." (Anthony Burgess)
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- Ellen Spertus
History That Is Important Today