3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Human devastation on a massive scale,
This review is from: A Journal of the Plague Year (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
This is one man's (fictional) account of the infamous Black Plague that came close to massacaring the entire population of London in 1665. Monthly reports were issued indicating the epidemic steadily increasing until close to 100,000 lives were eventually taken. Fear and desparation became rampant in London. Its Lord Mayor responded to the rapidly spreading infection by locking up everybody in their homes. Despite the posting of watchmen to prevent anyone from evading the strict quarantine, a number of people some how managed to escape.
A common scene in London were carts towing away the dead; bodies piled up on top of one another were then dropped into multiple make shift graves. Someone who felt well one moment would often die the next. There was no way to predict who would die next. Whole families and a servant or two would die within a short time of each other.
Commerce came virtually to a stand still as people became fearful of catching the plague from goods being sold. Eventually the horrible plague abated; people who abandoned their homes for rural areas started moving back to London. Life was getting back to normal again.
What was particularly interesting about the book was Daniel Defoe's decision not to choose characters with whom the reader could directly identify with. No one in the account had a name. Nevertheless, this did not prevent me from feeling the intense sufferings of the victims nor the intense joy of the eventual survivors.