The Black Death

by Ziegler, Philip Published by : Penguin, 1970 (Harmondsworth, England) Physical details: 331 p. 18 cm.
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Books Books School of Celtic Studies
Room 21 - MacCana Collection
PMC 940.1 Z (Browse shelf(Opens below)) Available (Standard Loan) 30366

Donation Ex Libris Proinsias Mac Cana.

History and edition First published: London : Collins, 1969.

Review Between 1347 and 1350, the Black Death claimed the lives of over one-third of the population of Europe. Having traced the course from Asia to the West, the author looks at the havoc it left in its wake. He includes chapters on the state of the period's medicine, the position of the church and the broader social and economic repercussions. A poignant tale, made all the more powerful for being told clearly, and without histrionics. (Kirkus UK)

Review The story of the Black Death - the great plague that swept over, and decimated, Europe in the fourteenth century - is one that, to a large extent, eludes the reader of English. The works of Mr. Coulton and of Cardinal Gasquet are outdated, and the sole authoritative general work has been G. Sticker's teutonically thorough and multivoluminar Die Pest - an opus which can be approached only when armed with adequate patience and more than adequate German. It is Mr. Ziegler's intention to provide a popular account. That he does not succeed is not due to any defect in scholarship or to any opacity of style, but rather to an inadequate perspective. Like most English writers on the Middle Ages, he tends to view England as the focal point of the medieval period; a view which, however satisfying to the British ego, is quite without foundation in fact. In this particular case, it has resulted in a predictable, though curious, imbalance of treatment. The course of the Black Death in France, Italy and Germany - the centers of medieval civilization, and therefore the countries in which the horrible plague most affected the direction of Western civilization - is dismissed almost summarily, while chapter after chapter is devoted to a detailed description of its progress through England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. The book therefore presents a distorted picture of the plague as a whole, and, while it may be useful to the British reader, it is only of peripheral interest to the American. (Kirkus Reviews)

Includes bibliography (p. 311-321) and index.

Sweeping from Asia into Europe, where its more appalling by-products included the Flagellants and the first great Jewish pogroms, the plague reached England in 1348. This account traces the course of the plague through Europe of the Church and the broader social and economic repercussions, as well as a reconstruction of life in a medieval English village suddenly overtaken by plague.

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