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The Black Death (Manchester Medieval Sources) [Paperback]

Rosemary Horrox
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Oct 1994 Manchester Medieval Sources (Book 1)
This series provides texts central to medieval studies courses and focuses upon the diverse cultural, social and political conditions that affected the functioning of all levels of medieval society. Translations are accompanied by introductory and explanatory material and each volume includes a comprehensive guide to the sources' interpretation, including discussion of critical linguistic problems and an assessment of recent research on the topics covered. From 1348 to 1350 Europe was devastated by an epidemic that left between a third and one half of the population dead. This source book traces, through contemporary writings, the calamitous impact of the Black Death in Europe, with a particular emphasis on its spread across England from 1348 to 1349. Rosemary Horrox surveys contemporary attempts to explain the plague, which was universally regarded as an expression of divine vengeance for the sins of humankind. Moralists all had their particular targets for criticism. However, this emphasis on divine chastisement did not preclude attempts to explain the plague in medical or scientific terms. Also, there was a widespread belief that human agencies had been involved, and such scapegoats as foreigners, the poor and Jews were all accused of poisoning wells. The final section of the book charts the social and psychological impact of the plague, and its effect on the late-medieval economy.

Frequently Bought Together

The Black Death (Manchester Medieval Sources) + The Black Death 1348 - 1350: A Brief History with Documents: The Great Mortality of 1348-1350 - A Brief History with Documents (The Bedford Series in History and Culture) + The Black Death
Price For All Three: £43.37

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Product details

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press (1 Oct 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719034981
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719034985
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 13.6 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 256,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Rosemary Horrox is Fellow in History, Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The disease which swept across Europe in the late 1340s seemed to contemporaries to herald the end of the world. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An invaluable text 24 Aug 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
From 1348 to 1350 Europe was devastated by an epidemic that left between one third and one half of the population dead. This collection of sources traces through contemporary writings the calamitous impact of the Black Death in Europe, with particular emphasis on its spread across England from 1348 to 1349. Rosemary Horrox surveys contemporary responses to the plague. The almost universal belief that it was an expression of divine anger at the sins of humankind did not preclude the attempts to explain the epidemic in scientific and medical terms or to look for human scapegoats. The sources included in the book trace the social and psychological impact of the plague, and its effects on the late-medieval economy and illustrate the fear that spread with the disease as well as the diverse ways that such terror influenced social behavior. Part One focuses on narrative accounts of the plague in Continental Europe and in the British Isles. Part Two examines explanations and responses to the plague, including religious and scientific. Part Three deals with the extraordinary consequences of the plague, its impact and repercussions. Finally the text ends with excellent and up-to-date suggestions for further reading. Dr. Horrox's text is the most extensive collection of relevant sources in translation and is an invaluable addition to the field. This book should be a part of the personal collection of every student of the Medieval period.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Needed for Uni course 31 May 2013
By Hood4
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent, lots of details about how people coped with the plague. how it was the beginning of the break down of the manioral system.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Pestilence 23 Nov 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An excellent collection of contempary accounts of the first major outreak of bubonic plague in Europe. It is well annotated and indexed. Much to be recommended
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a masterpiece 19 Aug 2006
Format:Paperback
simply the book on the black death a goldmine of information and primary sources that must be used if studying the black death totally invauluable.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Plague: Up-close and Personal 17 Nov 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I agree with the excellent review already listed here, but I would like to add that the value of the book for a more casual reader (like myself) is having the opportunity to read the reactions to and observation of the plague by people who lived through this terrible period. The reality of their words heightened the reality of the period for me. It is true that some parts of the book were a bit too dense for me (some of the allusions went right over my head), but the rest of the book provides a wonderful insight into the minds and souls of real human beings who still have much to say to those of us living centuries later. Highly recommended--and not just for scholars.
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An invaluable text 14 May 2001
By Joelline - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
From 1348 to 1350 Europe was devastated by an epidemic that left between one third and one half of the population dead. Using contemporary writings, this collection of sources traces the calamitous impact of the Black Death in Europe, with particular emphasis on its spread across England from 1348 to 1349. Rosemary Horrox surveys contemporary responses to the plague. The almost universal belief that the plague was an expression of divine anger at the sins of humankind did not preclude the attempts to explain the epidemic in scientific and medical terms or to look for human scapegoats. The sources which are included show some of the social and psychological impact of the plague, chronicle its effects on the late-medieval economy, and illustrate the fear that spread with the disease as well as the diverse ways that such terror influenced social behavior.
Part One focuses on narrative accounts of the plague in Continental Europe and in the British Isles. Part Two examines explanations and responses to the plague, including religious and scientific. Part Three deals with the extraordinary consequences of the plague, its impact and repercussions. Finally the text ends with excellent and up-to-date suggestions for further reading.
Dr. Horrox's text is the most extensive collection of relevant sources in translation and is an invaluable addition to the field. This book should be a part of the personal collection of every serious student of the Medieval period.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding collection of contemporary accounts 20 April 2008
By doc peterson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Horrox has collected and translated dozens of first-hand accounts of the Black Death of 1348 - 1350. The first quarter of the book is comprised of narrative accounts of the arrival and devastation of the plague, from its arrival in Italy to its spread into Britain. The middle half shows the various responses (medical, religious and scientific) to the mortality, the final quarter of the book examining its reprocussions.

All of the accounts presented here are from eye-witnessess to the terrible virulence and mortality of the Black Death. Although the majority of the documents are from Britain, there is a tremendous amount of similarity among them - the fear, shock, sadness and sense of fatalism as the disease ravaged Europe and the panic and social and economic dislocation that resulted. As a historian, I was fascinated; lay readers will almost certainly be similarly riveted by these accounts and the eerily familiar tone of the voices.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource 4 Mar 2013
By Snacky - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have used this text in a literature class focused on writing about and in the wake of the 14th century plague. While there are other collections of primary sources on plague, the aspects of Horrox's work that make her edition superior are: 1) her breakdown of "narrative accounts" by geography, distinguishing between accounts from continental Europe and the British Isles--very useful in reminding students of differences among medieval cultures, and; 2) her own excellent introductions to each of the main sections ("Narrative Accounts," "Explanations and Responses," and "Consequences"). Horrox is a fine writer who imparts a lot of information with clarity and grace. Her engaging prose style helpfully explains the context of these writings and stimulates one's further interest.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best primary source compliation for the Black Death 20 Mar 2010
By E. Campbell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm taking a seminar in college entirely on the Black Death and the professor says that this is by far the best compilation of primary sources from the Black Death. Many very interesting stories and interesting documents.
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