Bills of Mortality: Disease and Destiny in Plague Literature by Patrick Reilly

By Patrick Reilly

Bills of Mortality: illness and future in Plague Literature from Early sleek to Postmodern Times explores the dynamic among the very fact of plague and the constructs of future lethal illness 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, specially scientific, fields. additionally, it serves as an available creation to plague literature and to the world during which it has developed seeing that precedent days. To undergraduate and graduate scholars, Bills of Mortality provides a chance for scholarly engagement in an issue 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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Extra info for Bills of Mortality: Disease and Destiny in Plague Literature from Early Modern to Postmodern Times

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307) …” (742-3). The numbers parenthesized in the quoted material refer to the pages in the original Greek text. 22 | bills of mor talit y : disease and destiny in p l ag ue l i t e r at u r e the shape of a sword also hovered over the city just before its fall. 17 It would seem that “a flaming sword” appeared in the London sky as well, but not metaphorically. Its hilt “in a hand coming out of a cloud” and its “point hanging directly over the city,” it is neither comet nor meteor. , the product of naught but “air and vapour” and imagination “turned wayward and possessed” (23).

He is wary of touch.  F. great distress, as it exposes him daily to the distemper and the danger of infection—he is able, by virtue of his financial means, to get himself “discharged of the dangerous office,” although he does it by hiring a surrogate, “whom I had obtained for a little money to accept of it; and so, instead of serving the two months which was directed, I was not above three weeks in it; and a great while too, considering it was the month of August, at which time the distemper began to rage with great violence at our end of the town” (167).

By the demands of conscience and reason, assiduously takes to protect himself against contagion. For the plague, however extraordinary and supernatural the visitation may be in its origin (and likewise the deliverance from it), is also a natural phenomenon.  F. posits, as “a distemper arising from natural causes” and “propagated by natural means” (191).

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