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Daniel Defoe

A Journal of a Pandemic




People were locked down at home, thought they were safe each time mortality rates dropped, and quickly guessed that they were being lied to by the authorities. We're talking about the coronavirus virus, right? Wrong. Some 355 years before covid-19, London was hit by the last outbreak of the plague that had devastated the world for the previous 300 years. The biology of the infection was different, but the parallels with today are stunning. Daniel Defoe was only 5 when the plague struck in 1665 and didn't publish his Journal until 1722. That makes his book a case study in great documentary journalism. 

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