Sunday, May 1, 2022

Review of "Plague: Stories of Death in the Great Plague of the 14th Century," written by Kyle Garrett et. al.

 Review of

Plague: Stories of Death in the Great Plague of the 14th Century, written by Kyle Garrett et. al.

Five out of five stars

“First person” accounts of the great death

 The most conservative estimates are that the so-called “Black Death” that invaded Europe in the 14th century killed one-fourth of the population. Death was largely indiscriminate regarding socio-economic status, age and religious affiliation. The only exception to this was the large numbers of Jews that were murdered in the fever of belief that they were somehow the cause. The true cause were the yet unknown species of bacteria.

 This comic is composed of a set of short stories set in the first person of people experiencing the plague and it consuming those around them and in most cases them as well. The authors of the stories do a superb job in capturing the despair and hopelessness the people felt as people continued to die. Many of the dead were buried so hastily that their graves were shallow enough that dogs and other animals were able to dig the bodies up and consume them. For many, this was their greatest fear of what would happen when they died.

 The plague transformed Europe in that it was a great leveler of the social classes, quickly destroying feudalism and leaving those who survived largely in charge of their future. Since the clergy proved incapable of having any affect on the great dying, the power of the Catholic Church was also significantly weakened.

 This is an excellent account of a time when European society was subject to a great upheaval, changing it forever.

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