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The Plague

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Location: Georgia USA

Post by Ludmilla » Sat August 1st, 2009, 5:41 pm

It's non-fiction, but William McNeill's Plagues and Peoples is a very good book about various plague outbreaks of historical significance.

I just mentioned Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter in another thread, but it could easily be tagged as plague literature, as it covers the plague when it arrives in Norway, mid 14th C. (in fact, I think I read an interview with Connie Willis who mentions KL as a favorite novel of hers, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was an influence on her Doomsday book).

Re the Yellow Fever epidemic in the US, Laurie Halse Anderson's YA book, Fever 1793, is an interesting account of the epidemic that swept through Philadelphia during that year. I sometimes see this book in the children's section of the book store, but think it belongs in the YA section and is a book that should have crossover appeal for adults.

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Post by Chatterbox » Sun August 2nd, 2009, 1:19 am

McNeill is excellent; Philip Ziegler (or Zeigler?) also has a book about the Black Death. Barbara Tuchman's book about the era is magnificent -- the Distant Mirror -- and a shorter, more accessible book (akin to the Great Mortality) is Norman Cantor's "In the Wake of the Plague".

Then there's Boccaccio and his Decameron -- not about the Plague, but the tales his characters tell are to distract themselves while they are cooped up in Florence during the plague.

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Post by EC2 » Sun August 2nd, 2009, 9:33 am

Thanks for the review Margaret. This has been on my mental TBR for a while. I much prefer the USA cover.
Must admit I didn't get on with Doomsday book (the writing itself rather than the premise) and didn't make it past page 60.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal


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