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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Re-living the Great Storm
This carefully edited re-issue of Daniel Defoe's little known book 'The Storm' makes available a volume which, unaccountably, has been out-of-print for almost a century. Not even the 'Great Storm' of October 1987 - often described as 'the worst since the Great Storm of 1703' - was sufficient to stir the publishing houses from their torpor. Penguin and their editor Richard...
Published on 5 Dec 2003 by Martin L., Brayne

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3.0 out of 5 stars Olde English
The book is written in difficult to read/understand language, but is a topic of interest and well worth persevering. It was a birthday present for an avid reader who will enjoy it nonetheless
Published 6 months ago by Mrs. Carol Clayton


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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Re-living the Great Storm, 5 Dec 2003
By 
Martin L., Brayne (High Peak, Derbys United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This carefully edited re-issue of Daniel Defoe's little known book 'The Storm' makes available a volume which, unaccountably, has been out-of-print for almost a century. Not even the 'Great Storm' of October 1987 - often described as 'the worst since the Great Storm of 1703' - was sufficient to stir the publishing houses from their torpor. Penguin and their editor Richard Hamblyn are now to be congratulated on seizing the opportunity of the 300th anniversary of the event to publish the book in a most attractive format.
Newly-released from prison when the Great Storm struck on the night of 26/27 November, Defoe, ever on the look-out to keep his creditors at bay, hit upon the entirely new idea of appealing, via the newspapers, for eye-witness accounts of the event. The result is a remarkable collection of first-hand accounts from across southern Britain.
Defoe began his work with a study of the 'Natural Causes and Original of Winds', a fascinating introduction to what was the current state of meteorological knowledge at the beginning of the eighteenth century. He also supplies readings of atmospheric pressure which, as Hamblyn points out, have enabled modern climate historians to re-construct the event.
The most absorbing part of the book, however, is the eye-witness accounts themselves variously describing the damage inflicted upon houses, churches, windmills, woods and ships at sea. Many of these speak to us with a powerful directness enabling us to appreciate the terrors of God-fearing people and immersing us in the realities of that Storm-struck society. Not all of the stories are of tragedy. I particularly enjoyed the tale from the village in Kent where the church spire had been blown down and the local children amused themselves by jumping over the fallen masonry so that, in the future, they could claim they had once leaped over the steeple!
There are a small number of proof-reading errors - the consequence, perhaps, of needing to meet the tercentary deadline - but these are easily outweighed by the important re-emergence of this pioneering work of journalism and classic of disaster reportage.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Obscured by fiction, 5 May 2006
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DH Dixon "whitespeck" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Storm (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
Until now, Defoe's The Storm hasn't been in print as a single volume since the mid 19th century, the reason being that since the mid 19th century the public has preferred to see Defoe as a fictionist like Dickens, which has degraded the meaning and value of his Journal of the Plague Year and consigned The Storm to oblivion. These works form a pair, both being about national disasters of historic significance. The difference in style is that The Storm consists of Defoe's own observations and research, gathered together with eyewitness accounts from around the nation which he advertised for, while A Journal of the Plague Year has the eyewitness account and Defoe's research blended together into one common narrative. No other journalist has ever done that I think. But if you read the Plague Year as fiction it would be like trying to read The Storm as fiction.

Weather experts have always commented favourably on The Storm and it is legendary. Like the Plague Year, this book is great to read through and browse in afterwards as well - it is not a book to dispence with afterwards. Penguin has retained the dynamics of Defoe's original punctuation, but I wish that the print was bigger and blacker and more comfortable to read.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling, 1 Nov 2007
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kehs (Hertfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Storm (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
I found this to be most enthralling. It's full of info about Defoe and his life, and filled with eyewitness accounts of the most terrible storm to hit Britain. The storm arrived in 1703, houses were destroyed, thousands died and fires broke out all over. The eye- witness accounts make for fascinating reading. Defoe advertised for these accounts in a newspaper and people came forward to tell of their experience of the storm. Defoe used these tellings to write The Storm - his first full-length book. I found it amazing to think that one of our most revered writers was bankrupt and had served time in prison. If only he could have known how famous he was to become and how well loved his books would be.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars just to add to what everyone else has said-, 29 Sep 2005
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Michael J. Brett "Michael Brett" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Storm (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
This is an amazing book about an amazing event. To people in the early 18th Century, the Storm described by Defoe was the third part of a trinity of disasters: the Plague, the Great Fire, then the Storm.
The Storm itself was comparible to something like Hurricane Hugo, rather than the big wind of 1987. Meteorologists think that Defoe's Storm was a Carribean Hurricane which-unusually- swept westward, striking Northern Europe rather than the Americas.
Some historians are suspicious of Defoe's collection of first-hand testimonies. My advice is, see for yourself. This is a good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful writing style., 3 April 2014
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Fascinating description of weather used as an example in many more books and plays.
Great writing style and use of vocabulary.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Defoe., 29 Dec 2012
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R. Sinclair "Windy Miller" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Storm (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
This is a fascinating history and a credit to Daniel Defoe.Every school child should read it.I will enjoy rereading it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Olde English, 5 Feb 2014
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The book is written in difficult to read/understand language, but is a topic of interest and well worth persevering. It was a birthday present for an avid reader who will enjoy it nonetheless
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4.0 out of 5 stars Puts our current weather in perspective!, 14 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Storm (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
Defoe's book is perhaps the start of modern style first-hand journalism. It rescued him from bankruptcy and made his name as a serious author (he had been imprisoned for writing anti-government pamphlets previously). My only criticism is that it is in places hard to read the archaic English, and the explanation of nthe English is in a separate glossary. But it is poignant and moving, and the description of HMS Association (later Sir Cloudesley Shovell's flagship, wrecked off the Scillies in 1707 due to an error in navigation) being blown across the North Sea, dismasted and helpless, can only be described as distressing. A very worthwhile book to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting History, 2 Jan 2014
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D. Trievnor (Surrey) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Storm (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
This book was a gift and unexpectedly apt given the current weather conditions. It contains detailed accounts of the worst storm in England and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in historical events.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 9 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Storm (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
This is an interesting contemporary account of a major storm that flattened the UK. Defoe has done a serious piece of journalism in which he contacted people such as city Mayors and Clergymen to give an account of the storm and its effects in the area. It does therefore get a bit tedious as he gives the accounts, in the English of the era, verbatim. Nevertheless worth a read.
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The Storm (Penguin Classics)
The Storm (Penguin Classics) by Richard Hamblyn (Paperback - 27 Jan 2005)
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