The Great Plague

( 1 )

Overview

The Great Plague of 1665-6 is the best-known epidemic in English history. Carried by fleas, the bubonic plague decimated the population of England in a little over a year. The disease had never been absent in England since the Black Death in 1348, but there had been ten virtually plague-free years from 1655. People thought that perhaps the scourge had gone for ever. But in 1665 it returned with a vengeance. The total number of deaths attributable to that one outbreak is estimated at around 130,000. In London ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (7) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $16.18   
  • Used (4) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

The Great Plague of 1665-6 is the best-known epidemic in English history. Carried by fleas, the bubonic plague decimated the population of England in a little over a year. The disease had never been absent in England since the Black Death in 1348, but there had been ten virtually plague-free years from 1655. People thought that perhaps the scourge had gone for ever. But in 1665 it returned with a vengeance. The total number of deaths attributable to that one outbreak is estimated at around 130,000. In London alone 100,000 out of a total population of 500,000 died.

The plague and its dreadful effects have stayed in the popular imagination ever since. Samuel Pepys's diaries and Daniel Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year, both of which take the great plague as a central theme, have become two of the best known pieces of seventeenth-century literature. Often remembered because of its devastating impact on London, the plague struck other urban communities as heavily, carrying off half the population of Colchester and causing high mortality in cities such as Norwich and Cambridge. Nor were country villages spared. When Eyam in Derbyshire found itself afflicted with plague the village sealed itself off to stop the disease spreading further. Almost a third of its inhabitants died.

This well-illustrated and enthralling study examines the nature of the disease and contemporary opinions regarding its cause together with the measures taken by both national and local government to restrict its spread and to deal with its victims. Now available in paperback, The Great Plague is the perfect detailed study of the most famous killer in English history.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The author of a history of the Great Fire of London here offers a scholarly, meticulous yet accessible analysis of the last epidemic of bubonic plague to afflict England. The scourge of 1665 killed more than 70,000 in London alone. So horrific were the symptoms, which included psychological and neurological meltdown as well as the telltale glandular swellings and dark skin blotches, that, as Porter relates, it was considered fortunate to die of another disease. Some deliberately contracted syphilis in the hope that it would confer immunity against the plague, and many more misplaced their faith in the new wonder-drug, tobacco. Porter surveys the emerging national policies designed to curb the disease, but isolating the sick, quarantining shipping and prohibiting fairs proved tragically inadequate. The epidemic left the nation exhausted and demoralized, unable to tackle the Dutch ships that strutted around the mouth of the River Thames and strangled the capital of supplies. Using the abundant statistical data provided by parish registers, as well as the sexier narratives of Daniel Defoe, Samuel Pepys and their ilk, the author demonstrates the frightening unpredictability of the plague and the cruel inequality of its impact on rich and poor. His numerical analyses may prove excessive for some lay readers, and the book tends to presuppose a familiarity with English place names (a map or two would have helped), but the 60 black-and-white illustrations, from the mass graves of the Plague Year to the later festivities on the frozen Thames, should help attract a broad readership. History Book Club selection. (Jan.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848680876
  • Publisher: Amberley Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/19/2009
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vi
Acknowledgements ix
1 Plague and Society 1
2 The Great Plague in London 33
3 The Plague in the Provinces 79
4 Policy and Plague 114
5 The Great Plague in Perspective 146
Notes 179
Bibliography 197
Index 205
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 1
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2001

    ONLY NUMBERS!

    I bought this book hoping to find out how the plague effected the lifes of people who lived through it. The back cover mentioned Pepsy's diaries and other items discussed in the book that would have one believe that this book actually focus on the devastating effects that the plague had on society. Unfortunately, the book focused on the numbers when the plague hit an town or area and how hard. Pepsy's diaries and other antecedotal events were only used to support the accuracy of the numbers discussed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)