A Journal of the Plague Year

A Journal of the Plague Year In , The Great Plague Swept Through London, Claiming Nearly , Lives In A Journal Of The Plague Year, Defoe Vividly Chronicles The Progress Of The Epidemic We Follow His Fictional Narrator Through A City Transformed The Streets And Alleyways Deserted, The Houses Of Death With Crosses Daubed On Their Doors, The Dead Carts On Their Way To The Pits And Encounter The Horrified Citizens Of The City, As Fear, Isolation, And Hysteria Take Hold The Shocking Immediacy Of Defoe S Description Of Plague Racked London Makes This One Of The Most Convincing Accounts Of The Great Plague Ever Written

Daniel Defoe 1659 1661 1731 was an English writer, journalist, and spy, who gained enduring fame for his novel Robinson Crusoe Defoe is notable for being one of the earliest practitioners of the novel and helped popularize the genre in Britain In some texts he is even referred to as one of the founders, if not the founder, of the English novel A prolific and versatile writer, he wrote

❴Ebook❵ ➠ A Journal of the Plague Year Author Daniel Defoe – Uc0.info
  • Paperback
  • 336 pages
  • A Journal of the Plague Year
  • Daniel Defoe
  • English
  • 04 January 2017
  • 9780140437850

9 thoughts on “A Journal of the Plague Year

  1. says:

    Because writing is an expression of human character, what is true of one s character is true of one s writing as well A person s strengths and weaknesses are often two sides of the same coin the sympathetic character is often permissive, the assertive unreasonable, the ardent rash and the same thing can be said of an author s beauties and his faults A brief study of Daniel Defoe s book on the London plague of 1665 1666 illustrates this principle.Perhaps the most impressive thing about A Journal of the Plague Year is that it is an extraordinarily convincing account narrated by the voice of a mature, solid citizen thoroughly respectable and reliable who has personally witnessed the extraordinary and often horrific incidents he describes Defoe, however, although did he live in London at the time, was born in 1660, and was therefore only five years old when the Hand of Death fell upon the city of London.Defoe creates a convincing persona by making his narrator a stolid burgher who fears his God, respects his fellow Londoners, and admires his city, an unimaginative man who above all reverences reliable testimony and verifiable facts Plague Year is crammed with rolls of the dead and other helpful lists, as well as page upon page of city regulations governing the duties of citizens, the conduct of the inspectors, etc Although there are many vivid glimpses of life during plague crazed sufferers expiring in the streets, healthy families shut up in their houses by decree, diseased individuals defying city orders, open pits waiting for wagons stacked high with the dead these scenes are often obscured by heaps of accumulated detail, piles of haphazardly organized materials The book, although impressive, is inelegant, its organizational principles unclear it appears to be the work of a literate layman, not a professional writer Paradoxically, it is precisely this impression of amateurishness that makes the voice and therefore the work itself so powerful and convincing a performance.As with Robinson Crusoe, so it is with A Journal of the Plague Year I can never decide whether Defoe is merely an unsophisticated novelist, addicted to lists and repetitive details, or whether like the poet satirists of his own 18th Century he is a master at constructing personae that convince the reader with their sincerity and authority.Is the hobbling, inartful appearance of Plague Year a strength or is it a weakness I for one think it s a toss up Two sides of the same coin.

  2. says:

    In the crowded unhealthy unclean foul, pest dominated filthy city of London the Black Plague breaks out in 1665, no surprise it had occurred before in fact just a few years previously but this escalates, felling some say 100,000 people who never rise again Daniel Defoe the inventor of the English language novel Robinson Crusoe, 1719 yet because of his earlier employment, was a journalist than a novelist, writes a memoir of this catastrophe almost sixty years later The author was only five years old at the time, but his Uncle Henry Foe Defoe added De, to make himself seem a gentleman, his father was a butcher takes this eyewitness account from this relative s journal, the narrator is only described as H.F The alarmed inhabitants of the city mostly flee for their lives the rich first, King Charles the Second to Oxford, others to the nearby countryside the poor survive in the woods, old ruined shacks or in tents even outside, the locals don t help at first afraid to get sick too Many refugees starve to death, some succumb to the unmerciful disease the very brave stay in London those that work for the city government, the least well off remain also nowhere to go the hardest hit and die frequently in the streets, their minds inflamed by illness babbling words incomprehensible before dropping to the ground The Dead Carts pick up the victims and bury them in deep holes, mass graves are quickly covered and another one dug for the next batch The narrator s brother had urged him to get out of town like him, but H.F had a store to run , a house to take care of with servants and warehouses full of his goods how could he Still his sister would welcome him, she lived faraway in a different city The curious yet frightened man roams the streets, seeing the dead scattered everywhere, hearing unearthly screams from ill women in their homes, windows opened, moans flowing from above dazed men in nightshirts cursing, groaning people asking God to save them why did he not leave Whole families dying inside a house fathers, mothers, children, servants the stench of the bodies spreading to passersby they keep walking Londoners afraid to come near strangers they believe are infected by their polluted air not knowing the diseased rats, and flees that bite them and the many citizens of the city are the real killers Pitiful beggars abound asking for help, houses are shut with the owners inside either by the government, with the sick there or healthy ones trying to avoid the deadly plague by hiding Vicious thieves break into the empty homes stealing all, not afraid of the danger so desperate the situation, nothing to lose thinking everybody is doomed And the Dead Carts continue to roll down the pestilent streets the drivers throwing the deceased in, filling it to the top until no living humans are left A splendid glance back to a depressing time with little medicine, ignorance and superstitions that dominated the scene a mirror into yesteryear.

  3. says:

    In 1664, Borif De Pfeffel Jonffon was the Mayor of London He was widely popular with his flowing blonde wig and extravagant ruff Having invented the highly successful sport of peacock wiff waff, where live cocks were thwacked across a bronze table with scimitars, then skinned and served whole to the victors, his electoral success was secured In spite of his various mistresses, several of them chambermaids and lower ranking countesses, his re election the following year seemed certain He promised the electorate new steam powered horse and carts, a plumbing system that reduced pong by 34%, a complete ban on orange jerkins, and a promise to invent peroxide by 1669 A year later, Borif was re elected Everyone loved his extravagant, lying ways He was such a character He was such a cad, a bounder, a cuddly fluffy bugger upper, such a British bumbler Two weeks into his second term as Mayor, the Plague erupted across the city Borif promised a million vaccines He promised a hundred tubes of Savlon per household By the end of the year, 70,000 people had perished from the plague In 1666, Borif claimed a rousing victory at having seen off the virus single handedly, with hardly no assistance from his recently sacked adviser Dominick Cummingf A few weeks later the Great Fire broke out, and Borif promised 100,000 water cannons to arrive within the hour By the end of the year, 436 acres of London was destroyed At the next election, Boris was re elected with a landslide, wherever there was land or people left History teaches us nothing.

  4. says:

    One of the problems with reviewing the earliest authors of fiction is that they were writing at a time before the rules had been properly worked out Novels took on the form we know and love because of these writer s successes and because of their failures It was up to them to forge the templates, and if a certain template didn t work then they could try a new one with the next book A Journal of the Plague year is a case in point Although Defoe was alive at the time of plague, this is actually a fictional account written sixty years later but one which relies heavily on anecdotal reportage Defoe gives us a narrator to guide us through, but this man is just a cipher, a pair of eyes and ears to relate what he sees and hears We know where he lives, what he does, how many servants he has and that he has a brother, but not much else about him He is there to tell the tales Defoe heard, to describe scenes that Defoe saw or at least had described to him by others But the fact he has little definable character means there s an odd vacuum at the centre, a distance that stops the reader fully empathising It s a decision few authors of a later vintage would have taken, if only because they d learnt from this book s mistake In addition, as perhaps befits the first person account of a tradesman, the tale is not separated into chapters and rambles constantly down odd little cul de sacs With the result that it can often be an irritating read.That s not to say that there aren t good things in this book the descriptions of the mass graves and a populous so caught in madness they will proclaim their own sins in the middle of the road will certainly stay with me But this is not the most accessible of fictional histories and is a book that really makes you work hard for the treasures it has.

  5. says:

    Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcenter.com I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP it is not being reprinted illegally The CCLaP 100 In which I read for the first time a hundred so called classics, then write reports on whether or not they deserve the labelEssay 62 A Journal of the Plague Year 1722 , by Daniel Defoe The story in a nutshell Although not actually written until sixty years later but on that in a bit , Daniel Defoe s 1722 A Journal of the Plague Year is pretty much what it sounds like a purportedly true account of London s Great Plague of 1665, the last outbreak of the bubonic plague the city would ever see, supposedly written by an average middle classer who decided to wait things out instead of fleeing to the countryside like so many others As such, then, the book doesn t really have a three act plot per se, but is a rambling collection of observations, anecdotes, and actual hard data from an examination of the religious fervor that overtook the city during the worst months, to a detailed look at how home quarantines actually worked, to second hand accounts of the equal amount of trouble awaiting poor peasants who tried living illegally in the rural wilds of England that year, to horror stories of people literally bursting into goo in the middle of public streets, or of cemetery workers who would literally die while on their way to mass graves with a cart full of corpses, leaving the city full of wandering teams of horses dragging dead bodies randomly to and fro Although almost 300 years old by now, be warned that this is still not for the faint of heart The argument for it being a classic The case for this being a classic is a pretty simple one it is arguably the very first historical novel in human history, and in fact it was the centuries of passionate debate about whether this should be considered fact or fiction that even led to the term in the first place, and to this genre eventually becoming as popular as it now is For example, although not proven, it s widely believed that our narrator H.F is based on Defoe s relative Henry Foe, who actually was a young adult craftsman in London during the 65 plague, and who may or may not have left a detailed journal where Defoe culled many of these stories and for another example, Defoe even went to the trouble of including slang terms and intentional misspellings from the 1660s that had fallen out of favor by the 1720s On top of this, though, say its fans, the book s simply one freaky nightmare of a read, a surprisingly plain spoken and readable book befitting the Enlightenment times when it was actually written that has had an enormous impact on not only historical novels but the horror genre and post apocalyptic fiction, and that has directly influenced everyone from Albert Camus to Cormac McCarthy to even Monty Python and the Holy Grail That movie s famous line Bring out yer dead was lifted directly from this book The argument against There seems to be two main arguments against The Plague Year being a classic, although admittedly both of them weak ones first, that as a mere prototype of a genre that didn t acquire its main tropes until a century later, the book s digressive nature and outdated language is hard to read and follow and second, that although this book may be good enough on its own, it s Defoe s much famous and important Robinson Crusoe that should actually be considered the indisputable classic, in that that s the book widely considered to be the very first three act novel in the history of the English language 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 fascinating than simply its writing quality may make it seem, and is crucial for understanding why I found this such a surprisingly fantastic read Because, you see, Defoe was not only one of the first novelists in British history a format he came to know and love during his travels in southern Europe as a businessman in the late 1600s , but he chose to use this format specifically to comment on the hottest, trendiest issues of the day, making him essentially the Michael Crichton of the Enlightenment and it just so happens that just a year before this was written, the French city of Marseilles went through a major new outbreak of the bubonic plague, which inspired the British public and its newfound journalism industry to obsessively look back at their own plague of 56 years previous, and to examine all the ways that their society had profoundly changed since then.Now combine this with the Great London Fire just one year after this 1665 plague, a one two knockout to the city that left it largely empty of people and burned to the ground, and was the very thing that transformed it in those years into the post Medieval modern infrastructure we now know when you take all these things into consideration, then, The Plague Year suddenly becomes not just a horror story and important precedent in the development of historical fiction, but indeed serves as no less than a grand epic look at the transformation of Britain in this 60 year period, from the last vestiges of the Middle Ages to the Age of Science of Defoe s own times I mean, certainly a lot of this book suddenly starts making a lot sense when you assume that this was Defoe s actual goal he goes on and on in it, for example, about the shamefully superstitious way that 1600s Londoners actually reacted to this plague a common criticism among Enlightenment citizens about the generation before them , and also takes the trouble to point out all the faulty ways that people medically tried to deal with this plague, outdated hokum that had been disproven by the modern doctors of Defoe s own time, and one of the many sneakily brilliant things that Defoe gets away with by writing this in reality half a century after the events that it describes.I mean, don t get me wrong, the book just by itself is pretty great on its own it s unusually easy to read compared to books written in the same time period, and really does have a kind of slasher flick mentality that makes it still so engaging even three centuries later But I have to admit, what makes it truly delightful is to imagine yourself as an average Enlightenment intellectual in the early 1700s yourself, to picture the ways that science and reason and philosophy were utterly transforming society at the time, literally wresting power away from the mysticism, fear and superstition that had mostly driven British life up to that point because let s never forget, it actually took several additional centuries for the principles of the Renaissance to truly catch on in Britain, after it first became popular in southern Europe in the late 1400s and then to imagine reading The Plague Year within such a context, the point not really to talk about plagues at all but rather to examine all the ways that British society had changed in the 60 years since, and to thank God that modern biological science was rapidly bringing an end to such plagues in the first place When read in this spirit, it makes The Plague Year one of the most surprisingly great books in the entirety of this essay series so far, and it comes strongly recommended to those who can maintain this attitude themselves.Is it a classic Yes And don t forget that the first 33 essays in this series are now available in book form

  6. says:

    It was the most Serge Gainsbourg s preferred book.Daniel defoe is not a only one book man Robinson Crusoe.It is an aesthete book which one exchanges the name between friends What is extraordinary, it is the realism of story All descriptions are extraordinary They agree elsewhere with what was described As of the appearance of the signs, death occurred in a few hours.The plague is well known since the Middle Ages as an apocalyps Ren Girard in the scapegoat says that people did not even dare to pronounce the name of it We have forgotten that yhe last plague epidemy in occident was in France Marseilles 1925 What is brilliant, it is that we live the epidemy in the middle of the population His style is perfect, descriptions are a seizing naturalism A masterpiece.

  7. says:

    DNF d at chapter 11

  8. says:

    A journal of the plague year is actually a fictional account covering this time in history, and although Defoe was alive, we are given a narrator instead, and this was written near enough sixty years afterwards We are certainly not told much about this narrator, apart from the fact he has family and servants, and we get a brief description of where he lives, but that is about it I think due to this lack of character description, I was unable to completely empathise with him, and I also noticed there was a terrible amount of ramblings, where the narration went entirely off course, which made at times, for a rather bothersome and irritating read I also did not appreciate that there were no clear chapters, and it all kind of flowed awkwardly, into a giant sludge However, despite the negativity there, I do have some positives regarding this book The plague and the history around it fascinates me I cannot say exactly why, but it s just so interesting I thought the detailed and grim descriptions of the mass graves were interesting, and, the madness and chaotic scenes that the plague caused humans to endure, were so frightening, and to be in the middle of that, I just cannot even begin to imagine what that was like Overall, this book was let down mainly by the narrator and the layout, but, it does have some interesting snippets, but you ll need to dig rather deep to discover them.

  9. says:

    I taught this a couple times Soph Eng Lit survey , instead of Moll or Robinson or, indeed, Pamela or pt of Tristram Of course it s a historical reconstruction Defoe was 5 in the Plague Year, a year before the Great Fire, and two before the Dutch sailed to Chatham, on the Bay of Thames, and captured the Royal Charles, its transom still featured in Rijksmuseum I think those semesters AIDS featured in news Also useful for teaching Freshman Oedipus R, which begins in citywide mortality to be cured by executing the cause, a man hated by the Gods bec NOT aborted exposed until death Hmmm Might be a good approach Was Harry Whittington hated by the gods, or the drunk who shot him at cocktail hour in TX

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *