The silent streets of plague, with Professor Diane Purkiss

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The streets of our cities have been eerily silent as we have locked down to try to stop the spread of Covid. It’s even more eerie to recognise that our experience of walking through silent streets, passing houses with shut doors, holding clothing over our noses and mouths, and debating the ethics of staying in and going out, of locking people up to die or allowing them to spread contagion, have all happened before. In this lecture, I use the personal and heartfelt writings of Samuel Pepys and Daniel Defoe to talk about the great plague of 1665, which killed a hundred thousand people in London alone, but was felt throughout the country, and perhaps most of all in an Oxford still recovering from the stresses of the Civil War, when it had already had its own plague epidemic.

The talk will be live streamed on CrowdCast. After you have registered you will receive an invitation to the event 48 hours before the talk begins. You will also be able to re-watch the talk (or watch it for the first time!) for a month from the live event.

All profits from this talk will go towards the important work the Museum of Oxford carries out with local older residents as part of the ‘Library of you’ campaign.

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