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The Storm

Daniel Defoe

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Book Excerpt: 
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How the Wind sat during the late Storm I cannot positively 29say, it being excessively dark all the while, and my Vane blown down also, when I could have seen: But by Information from Millers, and others that were forc'd to venture abroad; and by my own guess, I imagin it to have blown about S.W. by S. or nearer to the S. in the beginning, and to veer about towards the West towards the End of the Storm, as far as W.S.W.

The degrees of the Wind's Strength being not measurable (that I know of, though talk'd of) but by guess, I thus determine, with respect to other Storms. On Feb. 7. 1698/9. was a terrible Storm that did much damage. This I number 10 degrees; the Wind then W.N.W. vid. Ph. Tr. No. 262. Another remarkable Storm was Feb. 3. 1701/2. at which time was the greatest descent of the ☿ ever known: This I number 9 degrees. But this last of November, I number at least 15 degrees.

As to the Stations of the Barometer, you have Mr.. . . 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!

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

This might be interesting for someone studying storms and storm damage. Otherwise not so much.

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."

An obvious classic, and one under appreciated by today's literary public.