Defoe's account of the bubonic plague that swept London in 1665 remains as vivid as it is harrowing. Based on Defoe's own childhood memories and prodigious research, A Journal of the Plague Year walks the line between fiction, history, and reportage. In meticulous and unsentimental detail it renders the daily life of a city under siege; the often gruesome medical precautions and practices of the time; the mass panics of a frightened citizenry; and the solitary travails of Defoe's narrator, a man who decides to remain in the city through it all, chronicling the course of events with an unwavering eye. Defoe's Journal remains perhaps the greatest account of a natural disaster ever written.
This Modern Library Paperback Classic is set from the original edition published in 1722.
About the Author
English author Daniel Defoe was at times a trader, political activist, criminal, spy and writer, and is considered to be one of England's first journalists. A prolific writer, Defoe is known to have used at least 198 pen names over the course of a career in which he produced more than five hundred written works. Defoe is best-known for his novels detailing the adventures of the castaway Robinson Crusoe, which helped establish and popularize the novel in eighteenth century England. In addition to Robinson Crusoe, Defoe penned other famous works including Captain Singleton, A Journal of the Plague Year, Captain Jack, Moll Flanders and Roxana. Defoe died in 1731.
Jason Goodwin is the author of "Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire" and "On Foot to the Golden Horn".
"A cunning work of art; a confidence trick of the imagination."