In this "gripping read—part historical inquiry, part novel" (Independent, London), John Hatcher gives us a new perspective on the worst epidemic in history through the experiences of a single English village. The bubonic plague killed some 100 million worldwide and reduced Europe's population by 30 to 60 percent at the turn of the 15th century. Hatcher, a Cambridge historian and an authority on the Black Death, recreates everyday medieval life in a parish in Suffolk, from which an exceptional number of documents survive, revealing in unique detail what it was like to live and die in these terrifying times. His scrupulously authentic narrative is peopled with characters developed from villagers named in town records, while dramatic scenes portray how contemporaries must have experienced the momentous events.
"This totally absorbing book presents the best account ever written about the worst event to have ever befallen the British Isles."—Simon Winchester