Get Bills of Mortality: Disease and Destiny in Plague Literature PDF

By Patrick Reilly

ISBN-10: 143312422X

ISBN-13: 9781433124228

Bills of Mortality: sickness and future in Plague Literature from Early smooth to Postmodern Times explores the dynamic among the actual fact of plague and the constructs of future lethal ailment generates in literary texts starting from Daniel Defoe’s A magazine of the Plague Year to Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. the quantity is of curiosity to readers in either literary and medical, specifically scientific, fields. furthermore, it serves as an obtainable advent to plague literature and to the sector within which it has developed due to the fact precedent days. To undergraduate and graduate scholars, Bills of Mortality presents a chance for scholarly engagement in a subject matter no much less well timed now than it was once while plague struck Milan in 1629 or ravaged Venice in 1912 or felled Thebes in antiquity.

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Additional info for Bills of Mortality: Disease and Destiny in Plague Literature from Early Modern to Postmodern Times

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Patently, they were “not able to foretell their own fate or to calculate their own nativities” (176). In their charlatanry they might well have exempted themselves from their own false, elaborate constructs of destiny in fanciful regard to plague as apocalypse, but they could not escape the destiny that lay in the fact of plague as a deadly distemper and, in the narrator’s plain Presbyterian faith, as an instrument in the hand of a just but not unmerciful God. 23 From August the 22nd to the 29th 7496 " August the 29th " 5th September 8252 " September the 5th " 12th " 7690 " September the 12th " 19th " 8297 " September the 19th " 26th " 6460 –––––– 38,195 ( Journal, 176) 26 | bills of mor talit y : disease and destiny in p l ag ue l i t e r at u r e The madness among the poor, however, does not disappear along with the street prophets whose dire predictions before the plague’s outbreak and in its early stages bred so much of the lunacy and mass hysteria.

It also grows, with September being “the most dreadful of its kind … that London ever saw” (176).  F. notes, then adds that he believes “this account was deficient” and “there died above ten thousand a week for all those weeks”; for in the city’s “inexpressible” confusion the bodies in the dead-carts often went uncounted, frequently because the drivers themselves died either in transit to or at the site of the burial pits (176-7). Accurate or not, the numbers convey the stark reality of the plague; they establish the matter of the black death’s overwhelming fact, especially among the mass of people abandoned to the pestilential city.

F.  F. may assert himself to be in his resolve, which he has lodged—sincerely, to all appearances—less, it seems, in his economic concerns as a tradesman than in his faith that his destiny lies in the protective hand of God, he does more than once in the face of a plague that is in fact claiming victims by the thousands regret his decision: “I have already said that I repented several times that I had ventured to stay in town, and had not gone away with my brother and his family” (174). ’s part bears little comparison to the willful indifference to the danger of contagion manifested by the predestinarian Turks and Mahometans or to the hysteria and fatalist folly of half-mad Londoners on the city’s plague-infested streets.

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Bills of Mortality: Disease and Destiny in Plague Literature from Early Modern to Postmodern Times by Patrick Reilly


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