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Bills of Mortality

Disease and Destiny in Plague Literature from Early Modern to Postmodern Times


Patrick Reilly

Bills of Mortality: Disease and Destiny in Plague Literature from Early Modern to Postmodern Times explores the dynamic between the fact of plague and the constructs of destiny deadly disease generates in literary texts ranging from Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year to Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. The volume is of interest to readers in both literary and scientific, especially medical, fields. In addition, it serves as an accessible introduction to plague literature and to the arena in which it has evolved since ancient times. To undergraduate and graduate students, Bills of Mortality affords an opportunity for scholarly engagement in a topic no less timely now than it was when plague struck Milan in 1629 or ravaged Venice in 1912 or felled Thebes in antiquity.
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Works Cited

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Angels in America. Dir. Mike Nichols. HBO Video, 2004. DVD.

Arenas, Reinaldo. Before Night Falls (Antes que anochezca). Trans. Dolores M. Koch. New York: Penguin Books, 2000. Print.

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Arlen, Harold, composer. “The Man That Got Away.” Sung by Judy Garland in A Star is Born, RKO, 1954. Film.

Augustine, Bishop of Hippo. Saint Augustine’s Enchiridion, or, Manual to Laurentius concerning faith hope and charity. Trans. Ernest Evans, from the Benedictine Texts. London: S. P. C. K., 1953. Print.

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Baum, L. Frank. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1991. Print.

Bell, Walter George. The great plague: grim tragedy told in church’s records of 1665. London: The Chronicles of St. Bride’s No. 2, 1957. Print.

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