A compilation of my notes from the book: Plagues and Peoples, by William H. McNeill (1976); complimented by my summarizing sub-headings.
As quoted by the Lancet behind the front cover of this book,
Professor McNeill is an American historian with a sound grasp of epidemiological principles.
As McNeill points out himself in this book (which can be seen immediately in the notes to follow), historians systematically gloss-over the significance of epidemic disease.
In choosing to read Plagues and Peoples third in my sequence of pandemic-themed books, I identified it as the one most complimentary to Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year: for while the latter is “the prototype of all accounts of great cities in times of epidemic”, the former has to be one of, if not the most substantial attempts at a historicalinterpretation of epidemics (—which is quite distinct from an epidemiological interpretation of history, I would add).
An arranged compilation of my notes from the book: A Journal of the Plague Year, by Daniel Defoe (1722).
Following the establishment of a global pandemic a few weeks ago, I went through my personal library of books to select those which have direct relevance to the nature and effects of pandemics: as since these things have suddenly become of utmost significance to all, I think it now appropriate to gain some perspective on the subject.
Of the books I selected for this study of pandemics, Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year* stood out as the best one to begin with, for it thoroughly depicts The Great Plague of London that occurred 1665-1666.
*The full text is in the public domain, and can be accessed for free at Gutenberg.org)