Journal of the Plague Year: A Norton Critical Edition / Edition 1 available in Paperback
This Norton Critical Edition of one of Defoe’s most important works reprints the 1722 text, the only edition published in Defoe’s lifetime.
The authoritative text has been fully annotated and makes available a perennially popular novel, one that has often been mistaken for an actual eyewitness account of the last great plague in England.
"Backgrounds" encourages comparison of 1665 documents with those of the early 1720s, when England feared a new outbreak of the plague.
Included are official government orders and newspaper accounts as well as writings by Defoe, John Graunt, the College of Physicians, and others.
"Contexts" includes eight comparative pieces united by the theme of a community in crisis.
From Thucydides to Boccaccio to modern accounts by Albert Camus, Michel Foucault, and Susan Sontag, this collection represents some of the most celebrated observers and critics in western civilization who have seen what plagues reveal about human nature.
"Criticism" reprints seven of the best essays on the novel, including interpretations by Sir Walter Scott, Maximillian E. Novak, John J. Richetti, and John Bender, among others.
A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.
About the Author
Paula R. Backsheider is Professor of English at the University of Rochester, where she has taught since 1975. Her biography, Daniel Defoe: His Life, won the 1990 British Council Prize for the Best Book in the Humanities. She is also the author of Daniel Defoe: Ambition and Innovation; A Being More Intense: The Prose Works of Bunyan, Swift, and Defoe; and Moll Flanders: The Making of a Criminal Mind. She has written and edited other books and a number of articles on Defoe and eighteenth-century literature.