The Diary of Samuel Pepys

The Plague Diaries of Samuel Pepys and Daniel Defoe: A Historical Overview College

Autobiography has often been a response to moments of historical crisis. Diaries such as those of Anne Frank who wrote about the hardships of living in Nazi Germany as a Jew, the Bronte Sisters who wrote of the era in which they lived, and Nelson Mandela who recorded his life in prison on a desk calendar, have been found and have revealed insightful information on those events (Liddy, 2014; Pettinger, 2014). Among these famous diarists are the world renowned writers Samuel Pepys and Daniel Defoe, who both wrote on the events of The Great Plague of London which occurred in 1665. Pepys and Defoe approach the plague in contrasting manners. This can be seen through the way in which they recorded the event, their motive behind recording the event, the authentic details used throughout their texts, the manner in which their text addresses and affects the reader and lastly through their emotional responses to the plague seen in their texts. These differences in their texts occurred due to the fact that Pepys and Defoe have contrasting personalities and backgrounds; thus, their texts were informed by different premises despite similarities of historical situation.

The Great Plague of London was an epidemic which devastated London from...

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