Plague : Black Death and Pestilence in Europe

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The Black Death first hit Europe in 1347. This horrific disease ripped through towns, villages and families. Men, women, children, young and old succumbed to a painful, drawn-out death as pustules, abscesses and boils erupted over their bodies. SUbsequent attacks of the disease, coming almost every decade, so limited the population that it was not until the eighteenth century that it managed to surpass the levels of the 1340s. For over three hundred years, Europeans were stalked by death. In the end, this mysterious disease that had terrorized, terrified and killed millions, disappeared at inexplicably as it had appeared. William Naphy is Senior Lecturer and Head of History at the University of Aberdeen. his other books include Born to be gay and Sex Crimes, both by Tempus. Andrew Spicer is Lecturer in Early Modern European History at Oxford Brookes more

Product details

  • Paperback | 222 pages
  • 130 x 198.1 x 19.8mm | 294.84g
  • The History Press Ltd
  • Stroud, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised
  • 3rd Revised edition
  • 80 x black &white illustrations
  • 0752429639
  • 9780752429632
  • 73,338

Review quote

"One of the most enjoyable history books I have read in a long time"show more

Review Text

The two out breaks of plague best known to all of us through history lessons, viz. the Black Death of 1348-9 and the Great Plague of 1665 are the chief objects of examination in this remarkable book by two prominent British historians. Much of the ground it covers has been well-trodden before, of course, but the authors have contrived to add many fresh and startling insights, especially with regard to the long-term effects of such massive depopulation across Europe. Particularly revealing is the detailed account of a later outbreak in 1720 at Marseilles, which was exacerbated by official bungling, doublespeak and gross incompetence, bringing irresistibly to mind the recent foot-and-mouth epidemic in Britain, though on an infinitely more hideous and tragic scale. And even though the authors' text is plonkingly flat and colourless for the most part, and bristles with horrible neologisms such as "normative" for "normal", all this doesn't matter a row of beans in the light of the urgent and compelling story the book has to tell. Naphy and Spicer's study - superbly illustrated, by the way - has already become the definitive modern reference work upon its terrifying subject. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

30 ratings
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 10% (3)
4 40% (12)
3 40% (12)
2 10% (3)
1 0% (0)
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