Though he may be most widely remembered as a novelist--especially for Robinson Crusoe, Defoe was an English trader, writer of non-fiction as well as fiction, journalist, pamphleteer and spy. This book is an account of one man's experiences in 1665, the year in which the bubonic plague struck London. Published under the initials H.F., Daniel Defoe, who was only five years old in 1665, may have based it on the journals of his uncle, Henry Foe. "Whether the Journal can properly be regarded as a novel has been disputed. It was initially read as a work of non-fiction, but by the 1780s the work's fictional status was accepted. Debate continued as to whether Defoe could be regarded as the work's author rather than merely its editor. One modern literary critic has asserted that 'the invented detail is... small and inessential', while Watson Nicholson – writing in 1919 – argued that the work can be regarded as 'authentic history'. Other literary critics have argued that the work can indeed be regarded as a work of imaginative fiction, and thus can justifiably be described as a 'historical novel' (Wikipedia article on A Journal of the Plague Year, accessed 04-2018). Digital facsimile from the Hathi Trust at this link.