The Black Death, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


A series of natural disasters in the Orient during the fourteenth century caused the most devastating period of death and destruction in European history.

One third of the people in Europe were killed over a period of just three years, and there was social and economic upheaval on an unparalleled scale. Philip Ziegler's acclaimed overview of this critical event synthesises the records of contemporary chroniclers and the work of later historians in a masterly volume.

His accessible and readable style is complemented with contemporary illustrations to present the full horror and destruction wreaked by this disease and its contribution to the disintegration of an age.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 296 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: European history
  • ISBN: 9780750932028

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I like how Philip Ziegler's classic story of the Black Death chapter by chapter advances towards England (chapters 1-6) and then tell how the plague affected England itself (chapters 7-13) and finally wraps it up in thematic chapters discussing the lives lost, the social and economic consequences as well as its effect on art and religion. A truly medieval event that was crucial in kick-starting the modern world. While Karl Marx and others stated that theft was at the beginning of capital accumulation, the black death allowed redistribution from the dead to the living in a lethal but not violent way. It is rather surprising that it had not caused more violence, chaos and destruction. Ziegler is amazing in highlighting the continuity of public record-keeping and city life in a tumultuous time. Highly recommended.

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