I finished it last night. I guess one of the first things we could talk about is what to call it: novel or non-fiction. I was reading an ebook without any introductory material, but from what I can gather, even though these are not Defoe's personal observations, he may have been basing them on the actual writings of the person who signs "H.F." at the end.
Another question is whether the glowing portrait Defoe paints of the civil authorities and their actions during the plague was accurate or was perhaps motivated by patriotic or political feelings. Have you read anything that addresses this?
I've watched the first four lectures from the Yale course I cited earlier, and will be doing #5 this morning. The first two lectures are background material on the state of medical science at the time--they are interesting, but you can skip them. Lectures 3, 4 & 5 are about the bubonic plague itself, and are excellent resources for both the Defoe book and the Manzoni novel we will be reading later.
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