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Daniel Defoe (1659 or 1661 - 1731) was an English writer and journalist who gained enduring fame for his novel Robinson Crusoe. In 1665, the bubonic plague swept through London, claiming nearly 100,000 victims. In ‘A Journal of the Plague Year’, first published in 1722, Defoe chronicles the progress of the epidemic. His fictional narrator traverses a city with deserted streets and alleyways, where the houses of death have crosses daubed on their doors. He described the panic among the inhabitants of the city as fear, isolation and hysteria reign. Defoe identifies specific neighborhoods, streets, and even houses in which the horrific events took place. Well-researched, the book also provides tables of casualty figures and discusses the reality of various accounts heard by the narrator.
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