In order to help to spend idle time in the quarantine in a useful way, we suggest reading Daniel Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year, chronicling the dramatic events of the 1665 year Great Plague in London. The novel – although ever since its publication in 1722, the status and genre of the book has been debated, whether it should be read as a novel, a documentary or a memoir – published under the initials, H.F., probably referring to Defoe’s uncle, provides a highly readable, surprisingly and unbelievably relevant description of life under extreme emergency. The reader today would be slightly ashamed discovering his present-day concerns and reactions to the wildly spreading epidemic. Reading Defoe’s documentary novel provides the experience of looking into an old mirror and being suddenly confronted with our own obscure image.
The book could be downloaded from this site: