Book Traces 


plague 1



The book I found was “A Journal  of the Plague Year” by Daniel Defoe. The original book was written in 1722 but the version I found was from 1908. It is a fictitious historical novel about the great plague that struck London in 1665. I forgot to upload one picture to the book traces website but I posted it here. I like how you can tell from the very different handwriting and use of either pencil or red pen that these are notes from different people.

The first picture with the script handwriting (I think) says, “Cold weather change eased plague”. This is a very factual statement interpreted straight from the text on the page. This excerpt  from the book makes it sound very factual and historical, I wouldn’t know it was a fictitious story from this page.

The next picture with the red pen simply says “conflict”. After reading this page the story sounds more like a narrative, the character is talking about things he said during an argument with his brother. This excerpt also talks about Heaven and Christianity, which gives insight to how important religion was at the time.

The final picture from what I can grasp says, “Division of band(?) into parishes; church kept death records”. Once again this emphasizes the important role of religion/the division of churches into parishes was at the time. Instead of the city or state keeping record of the death toll it was the job of the church to have all that in order. This page of the book gives the readers the idea that there was a sort of correlation with the weather and the spread of the plague. The characters were worried about it being May and that the warm weather would cause the plague to spread and more people to die.

I found this lab a lot of fun and interesting, it was just challenging to find books during the right time period. I wish I had found some more insightful/personal marginalia but this was still interesting and very fact related to the text of the book.


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