Defoe, Covid-19, and resilience of law and society

22 March 2021

Historical novels offer a place to outreach for other legal systems, providing laboratories to study and understand law and society. There is especial value in revisiting historical novels that depict law and society, especially in these days of Covid-19. Such is the case of the novel by Daniel Defoe, entitled A Journal of the Plague Year (hereinafter, the Journal), published in 1722. The law is omnipresent in the Journal. Looking at the Journal reveals that resilience is a characteristic of law and society when facing extreme challenges, such as Covid-19 or the 1665 bubonic plague. After all, law and society have an impressive ability to adapt to change.