Free Shipping on orders over $25

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $13.50
  • January 1992
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-96188-1
  • 384 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

Related Books

  • Moll Flanders

    Moll Flanders is one of the best-selling novels of all time.

  • Robinson Crusoe: A Norton Critical Edition

    Second Edition

    The Second Edition of the Norton Critical Edition of Robinson Crusoe is based on the Shakespeare Head Press reprint of the first edition copy in the British Museum, with the "errata" listed by Defoe’s publisher, William Taylor, incorporated into the text.

A Journal of the Plague Year

Norton Critical Editions


See all options and formats starting at

Daniel Defoe (Author), Paula R. Backsheider (Editor, University of Rochester)


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.


    The Text of A Journal of the Plague Year

    Map: Detail of H.F.'s London

    A Journal of the Plague Year

    Backgrounds: The Plague of 1665 and the Threat of 1720–21

    1. Orders Conceived and Published by the Lord MAIOR and Aldermen of the City of London, concerning the Infection of the Plague. 1665
    2. John Graunt, From Reflections on the Weekly Bills of Mortality and Natural and Political Observations upon the Bills of Mortality
    3. College of Physicians … Necessary Directions for the Prevention and Cure of the PLAGUE in 1665
    4. Thomas Vincent, From God's Terrible Voice in the City
    5. Nathaniel Hodges, From Loimologia: Or an Historical Account of the Plague in London in 1665
    6. [Daniel Defoe], From Applebee's Original Weekly Journal
    7. From The Daily Journal
    8. The London Gazette, [Quarantine Act of 1721]
    9. Richard Mead, A Short Discourse Concerning Pestilential Contagion, and the Methods to be Used to Prevent It

    Contexts: Reflections on Plagues and Their Effects

    1. Thucydides, [The Plague ad Athens]
    2. Giovanni Boccaaccio, The First Day
    3. Thomas Dekker, From The Wonderful Year
    4. Albert Camus, From The Plague
    5. Michel Foucault, Panopticism
    6. Susan Sontag, From AIDS and Its Metaphors
    7. George Whitmore, Epilogue to Someone Was Here
    8. Public Information Material About AIDS


    1. Sir Walter Scott, Daniel De Foe
    2. Louis A. Landa, [Religion, Science, and Medicine in A Journal of the Plague Year
    3. John P. Richetti, Epilogue: A Journal of the Plague Year as Epitome
    4. Maximillian E. Novak, Defoe and the Disordered City
    5. John Bender, The City and the Rise of the Pernitentiary: A Journal of the Plague Year
    6. Michelle Brandwein, Formation, Process, and Transition in A Journal of the Plague Year

    Daniel Defoe: A Chronology

    Selected Bibliography