Perspectives on Pandemics

By Lapham’s Quarterly

By Lapham’s Quarterly

In the weeks ahead, as the world continues to reckon with and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, our website will feature voices from the past who told stories that rhyme with the one unfolding before us—stories dealing with quarantine, unfathomable deaths, isolation, dread, and attempts to find community when the rest of the world feels far away. These books offer more from those voices.

The Diary of Samuel Pepys

Samuel Pepys


Romola (Revised)

George Eliot

$19.00 $17.48

A Journal of the Plague Year

Daniel Defoe

$11.00 $10.12

Voyage Around My Room

Xavier De Maistre

$14.95 $13.75

The Last Man

Mary Shelley

$13.95 $12.83

One of Ours

Willa Cather

$14.95 $13.75

On the Nature of the Universe


$13.95 $12.83

They Came Like Swallows

William Maxwell


Death in Venice

Thomas Mann

$14.00 $12.88

The Portable Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

$22.00 $19.80

Includes the story “The Masque of the Red Death”

The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter

Katherine Anne Porter

$17.95 $16.51

Includes “Pale Horse, Pale Rider”—a story of the 1918 influenza pandemic.

Selected Letters

John Keats

$16.00 $14.72

Includes letters Keats wrote while quarantined on a ship.

The Betrothed: I Promessi Sposi

Alessandro Manzoni

$20.00 $18.00

The Decameron

Giovanni Boccaccio

$8.95 $8.23

Look Homeward, Angel

Thomas Wolfe

$20.00 $18.00

Robinson Crusoe

Daniel Defoe


Gargantua and Pantagruel

Francois Rabelais

$21.00 $18.90

An Apology for Idlers and Other Essays

Robert Louis Stevenson


Includes the essay “On the Enjoyment of Unpleasant Places.”

The Plague

Albert Camus

$15.00 $13.80

Lapham’s Quarterly embodies the belief that history is the root of all education, scientific and literary as well as political and economic. Each issue addresses a topic of current interest and concern—war, religion, money, medicine, nature, crime—by bringing up to the microphone of the present the advice and counsel of the past. Subscribe today!