The great mortality: an intimate history of the Black Death, the most devastating plague of all time

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A compelling and harrowing history of the Black Death epidemic that swept through Europe in the mid-14th century killing 25 million people. It was one of the most devastating human disasters in history.

"The bodies were sparsely covered that the dogs dragged them forth and devoured them . And believing it to be the end of the world, no one wept for the dead, for all expected to die." Agnolo di Turo, Siena, 1348

In just over 1000 days from 1347 to 1351 the 'Black Death' swept across medieval Europe killing 30% of it's population. It was a catastrophe that touched the lives of every individual on the continent. The deadly Y. Pestis virus entered Europe by Genoese galley at Messina, Sicily in October 1347. By the spring of 1348 it was devastating the cities of central Italy, by June 1348 it had swept in to France and Spain, and by August it had reached England. One graphic testimony can be found at St Mary's, Ashwell, Hertfordshire, where an anonymous hand carved a harrowing inscription for 1349: 'Wretched, terrible, destructive year, the remnants of the people alone remain.'

According to the Foster scale, a kind of Richter scale of human disaster, the plague of 1347-51 is the second worst catastrophe in recorded history. Only World War II produced more death, physical damage, and emotional suffering. It is also the closest thing that Defence Analysts compare a thermonuclear war to - in geographical extent, abruptness and casualties.

In The Great Mortality John Kelly retraces the journey of the Black Death using original source material - diary fragments, letters, manuscripts - as it swept across Europe. It is harrowing portrait of a continent gripped by an epidemic, but also a very personal story narrated by the individuals whose lives were touched by it.

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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 813ea3d5-d90d-622f-cfa5-e43b3527376b
Grouping Title great mortality an intimate history of the black death the most devastating plague of all time
Grouping Author kelly john
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-02-16 23:53:08PM
Last Indexed 2019-02-16 15:04:06PM

Solr Details

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accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Kelly, John, 1945-
author_display Kelly, John
available_at_catalog Old Hickory
collection_catalog Non-Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Hermitage - Adult Non-Fiction, Old Hickory - Adult Non-Fiction

La moria grandissima began its terrible journey across the European and Asian continents in 1347, leaving unimaginable devastation in its wake. Five years later, twenty-five million people were dead, felled by the scourge that would come to be called the Black Death. The Great Mortality is the extraordinary epic account of the worst natural disaster in European history — a drama of courage, cowardice, misery, madness, and sacrifice that brilliantly illuminates humankind's darkest days when an old world ended and a new world was born.

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literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog 614.5732 K2974g
owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Hermitage, Hermitage Kids, Old Hickory
primary_isbn 9780060006921
publishDate 2006, 2012
record_details ils:CARL0000242207|Book|Books|1st Harper Prennial ed.|English|Harper Perennial,|2006.|xvii, 364, 16 p. : map ; 20 cm., overdrive:91f7b9e0-b2e7-4815-a345-4f6c70cb2b75|eBook|eBook||English|HarperCollins|2012|
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subject_facet Black Death -- Europe, Black Death -- History, Black Death -- Sources
title_display The great mortality : an intimate history of the Black Death, the most devastating plague of all time
title_full The Great Mortality An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time, The great mortality : an intimate history of the Black Death, the most devastating plague of all time / John Kelly
title_short The great mortality :
title_sub an intimate history of the Black Death, the most devastating plague of all time
topic_facet Black Death, History, Nonfiction