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The Storm

Daniel Defoe

Book Overview: 

The Storm holds a special place in the writings of Daniel Defoe. Widely considered a founding document of modern journalism, The Storm narrates the calamitous events of November 1703 that are framed by the author in the first four chapters. These are followed by verbatim eyewitness accounts, solicited from survivors through a newspaper advertisement that Defoe placed shortly after the hurricane struck.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I draw,
I'm in the Limbus of the Law.
Let me be where I will I heard the Storm,
From every Blast it eccho'd thus, REFORM;
I felt the mighty Shock, and saw the Night,
When Guilt look'd pale, and own'd the Fright;
And every Time the raging Element
Shook London's lofty Towers, at every Rent20
The falling Timbers gave, they cry'd, REPENT.
I saw, when all the stormy Crew,
Newly commission'd from on high,
Newly instructed what to do,
[Pg 4] In Lowring, Cloudy, Troops drew nigh:
They hover'd o'er the guilty Land,
As if they had been backward to obey;
As if they wondred at the sad Command,
And pity'd those they shou'd destroy.
But Heaven, that long had gentler Methods tried,30
And saw those gentler Methods all defied,
Had now resolv'd to be obey'd.
The Queen, an Emblem of the soft, still, Voice,
Had told the Nation how to make their Choice;Read More

Community Reviews

I love this book but I would not necessarily recommend it to everyone. If, however, you like eighteenth-century disaster stories, particularly with a lot of death, then this book is for you!

A wonderful insight to the dreadful storm of 1703. Filled with letters from gentlemen describing the effects the storm had in their cities and towns. Leaves me hoping we don't suffer a storm like this anytime soon.

Wow. Amazing collection of his own observations of the terrible destruction of the storm, which sounds like a tornado/huricane combination from hell, PLUS he asked people of good repute, through newspaper ads, to send him their accounts of storms in their particular towns and villages. With those ad

The Storm is centered on a hurricane that hit England, including London, on November 26–27, 1703. The strongest winds were approximately eighty mph sustained between 1:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., and covered an area 300 miles wide. Defoe experienced the storm first-hand, and tells his account of the impa

I read The Storm during storm Brenda or Bethel or Bertha or something. As much as these named storms get a dramatic build-up, they’re never as dramatic as they promise to be, certainly compared to the Great Storm of 1703. Even the storm that barrelled past my childhood house in 1987 was nothing comp

The Great Storm of 1703 was significant not only because of its freakish nature, taking place on the verge of winter in the North Atlantic, and the tremendous damage it wrought to English shipping and trade, but to the fact that it likely spawned the whole industry of mass media.

Because of strict pr

Like Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year, a wonderful piece of 18th century journalism. Letters from "witnesses" form part of the account, as does early weather data. How far these were accurate, and how "doctored" they were by Defoe will always be unclear.
Defoe was in trouble with the authorities (a

"But, the treasury of immediate cause is generally committed to nature; and if at any time we are driven to look beyond her, it is because we are out of the way: it is not because it is not in her, but because we cannot find it."

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