The Black Death

The Black Death : The Intimate Story of a Village in Crisis 1345-50

3.46 (739 ratings by Goodreads)
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How the people of a typical English village lived and died in the worst epidemic in history.The Black Death remains the greatest disaster to befall humanity, killing about half the population of the planet in the 14th century. John Hatcher recreates everyday medieval life in a parish in Suffolk, from which an exceptional number of documents survive. This enables us to view events through the eyes of its residents, revealing in unique detail what it was like to live and die in these terrifying times. With scrupulous attention to historical accuracy, John Hatcher describes what the parishioners experienced, what they knew and what they believed. His narrative is peopled with characters developed from the villagers named in the actual town records and a series of dramatic scenes portray how contemporaries must have experienced the momentous events.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 130 x 194 x 26mm | 281.23g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0753823071
  • 9780753823071
  • 105,322

Review quote

A compelling tale of ordinary people faced with a horror beyond imagining * SUNDAY BUSINESS POST * the sense of creeping doom, panic and rampant superstition is conveyed with a novelist's skill * GUARDIAN * John Hatcher, a distinguished economic historian, sets out to attempt something new: the describe the plague in terms of one of these hard-hit communities... more than most of the purely historical accounts have given us * LITERARY REVIEW * Conveys with great effectiveness the intensity of medieval English devotions and their deep preoccupation with the business of dying. Reading this book I was reminded time and again of the Tibetan Book of the Dead -- Will Self * EVENING STANDARD * The author is praised as a masterly social historian and the book as colourful as an episode of Midsomer Murders * FINANCIAL TIMES * This totally absorbing book presents the best account ever written about the worst event to have ever befallen the British Isles -- Simon Winchester a gripping read -- part historical inquiry, part novel * INDEPENDENT *
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About John Hatcher

John Hatcher is Professor of Economic and Social History and Chairman of the History Faculty at Cambridge University. He has taught the subject of the Black Death for twenty years and is the author of eight books on medieval history. He appeared in the Channel 4 series THE SEVEN AGES OF BRITAIN and advised on Discovery Channel series BLOODY BRITAIN, as well as a Channel 4 documentary on the Peasants' Revolt with Tony Robinson. He lives in Cambridge.
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Review Text

a gripping read -- part historical inquiry, part novel INDEPENDENT
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Rating details

739 ratings
3.46 out of 5 stars
5 16% (115)
4 35% (256)
3 34% (249)
2 13% (96)
1 3% (23)
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