A Journal of the Plague Year (Revised edition)

ISBN : 9780199572830

Daniel Defoe; Louis A. Landa
304 Pages
129 x 195 mm
Pub date
Sep 2010
Oxford World's Classics
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  • Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year is an extraordinary account of the devastation and human suffering inflicted on the city of London by the Great Plague of 1665 which continues to exert a powerful fascination.
  • The lively Introduction relates the Journal to Defoe's best-known work, Robinson Crusoe, and draws on recent research into the publishing environment of the first edition. It considers the portrayal of London, recreated by Defoe to the way it was before the Great Fire, and to its device of fiction masquerading as fact.
  • Comprehensive explanatory notes.
  • Medical note that explains the relationship between Defoe's medical knowledge and our own.
  • Complete topographical index enables the reader to track the Journal's complex references to London's streets, churches, alleyways, and prisons both before and after the Great Fire of 1666.
  • Map of Defoe's London.

New to this Edition:

  • Newly written Introduction by David Roberts.
  • Updated bibliography.
  • Revised notes.
  • Revised medical note.
  • Map.
  • Topographical index.

'a Casement violently opened just over my Head, and a Woman gave three frightful Skreetches, and then cry'd, Oh! Death, Death, Death!'
Purporting to be an eye-witness account, the Journal of the Plague Year is a record of the devastation wrought by the Great Plague of 1665 on the city of London. Defoe's fictional narrator, known only as 'H. F.', recounts in vivid detail the progress of the disease and the desperate attempts to contain it. He catalogues the rising death toll and the transformation of the city as its citizens flee and those who remain live in fear and despair. Above all it is the stories of appalling human suffering and grief that give Defoe's extraordinary fiction its compelling historical veracity.
This revised edition includes comprehensive notes, a complete topographical index, and a new introduction to the greatest work of plague literature.


Note on the Text
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of Daniel Defoe
Appendix: A Medical Note
Explanatory Notes
Map: The City of London in the seventeenth century
Topographical Index

About the author: 

Daniel Defoe
Edited by Louis Landa, Deceased (Professor of English Emeritus, Princeton University), and David Roberts, Professor of English, Birmingham City University

"The London of an earlier period - 1665 - is brought vividly and pungently back to life." - Cannock and Rugeley Chronicle

"Gruesomely compulsive reading." - Colin Waters, Sunday Herald

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