Two men discover a dead body in the street during the Great Plague of London.
19th-century wood engraving. Herbert Railton/Wellcome Collection
Accounts of previous epidemics – by Samuel Pepys, Daniel Defoe and Katherine Porter – warn of mistakes that we risk repeating.
Hippocrates refusing the gifts of Artaxerxes. Engraving by Raphael Massard, 1816.
Bleach to defeat COVID-19 or fire to dispel plague, history is full of quack medicine.
Nearly lost at sea, Robinson Crusoe lands on an island only to reckon with isolation, solitude and his own life.
Culture Club/Hulton Archive via Getty Images
Isolation. Despair. Facing our demons. What does the most-translated novel tell us about living with COVID-19?
A street during the Great Plague in London, 1665, with a death cart and mourners.
Written 60 years after the bubonic plague swept London, Defoe’s account may have been a hoax, but it still rings true today.
Currier and Ives 1875 print of Robinson Crusoe and his companion Friday.
Everett Historical via Shutterstock
Published in 1719, Robinson Crusoe was one of the first novels (in the modern sense) written in English. Some 300 years later, the complicated castaway and his misadventures continue to shape culture.
England has come a long way since devolution.
It may only be Scotland that is heading to the polls on September 18, but it is not the only interested party in the results of the independence referendum. England would obviously play a dominant role…