King Death: The Black Death and its Aftermath in Late-Medieval England

By Colin Platt

© 1996

The black death came to England in 1347 and for three centuries bubonic plague remained a continual and threatening presence in the everyday life (and death) of the country. The Black Death and subsequent population losses are central, therefore, to any understanding of the period.

From rural labourer to nobleman, from village priest to abbot, contemptuous of rank and wealth, Death was the guest of every late-medieval household in 'pestilence time.' In this masterly survey, Colin Platt examines what it was like to live with plague at all levels of society. Drawing on evidence from architecture and the arts, he examines the visible legacies of the investment that Christian men and women made in the provision of after-death soul-care. In addition he examines the social and economic consequences of a steep and unprecedented population decline. It is argued that the severe labour shortage that persisted for over a century after the Black Death ultimately broke the ties of feudal bondage.

Written with verve and rich in detail, King Death offers an important analysis of one of the most potent instruments of change in late-medieval England, and a fascinating insight into the industry of death that pestilence brought with it. It will be required reading for all students of late-medieval England.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.1in x 0.7in x 9.1in
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SKU# SP001794

  • PUBLISHED MAR 1996

    From: $22.07

    Regular Price: $33.95

    ISBN 9780802079008

Quick Overview

A richly illustrated, beautifully written examination of what it was like to live with plague at all levels of society. Platt offers a fascinating insight into the industry of death that pestilence brought with it.

King Death: The Black Death and its Aftermath in Late-Medieval England

By Colin Platt

© 1996

The black death came to England in 1347 and for three centuries bubonic plague remained a continual and threatening presence in the everyday life (and death) of the country. The Black Death and subsequent population losses are central, therefore, to any understanding of the period.

From rural labourer to nobleman, from village priest to abbot, contemptuous of rank and wealth, Death was the guest of every late-medieval household in 'pestilence time.' In this masterly survey, Colin Platt examines what it was like to live with plague at all levels of society. Drawing on evidence from architecture and the arts, he examines the visible legacies of the investment that Christian men and women made in the provision of after-death soul-care. In addition he examines the social and economic consequences of a steep and unprecedented population decline. It is argued that the severe labour shortage that persisted for over a century after the Black Death ultimately broke the ties of feudal bondage.

Written with verve and rich in detail, King Death offers an important analysis of one of the most potent instruments of change in late-medieval England, and a fascinating insight into the industry of death that pestilence brought with it. It will be required reading for all students of late-medieval England.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.1in x 0.7in x 9.1in
  • Reviews

    'King Death proves to be an informative and interesting look at the effects of the plague in terms of population, architecture, religion and lineage.'


    Kari Watson
    FFWD (Calgary)

    'An extensively annotated, copiously referenced, informative book with valuable insights.'


    G. Eknoyan
    Choice

    'Colin Platt has now given us a lively and lucidly written new work that incorporates all the latest scholarship and historical debate about this extraordinary crisis ... Death indeed was king during the late Middle Ages, and Platt's book is now the best treatment of the subject for undergraduates.'


    Richard Winderli
    History: Review of New Books
  • Author Information

    Colin Platt is a professor of Art History at Southampton University.
  • Table of contents

    Preface

    1. Mortalities
    2. Shrunken towns
    3. Villages in stasis
    4. Impoverished noblemen and rich old ladies
    5. Knight, esquire and gentleman
    6. Of monks and nuns
    7. Like people, like priest
    8. Protest and resolution
    9. Architecture and the arts
    10. What matters

    Notes

    Bibliography

    Index

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