Thoughtful Gifts for Curious People

Plague, Pestilence and Pandemic: Voices from History


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From the plagues of ancient Egypt to the pox that ravaged Europe in the Middle Ages, to Covid-19, pestilence and pandemic have always been a part of human existence. People living through the crises have always recorded what they did, saw, and felt - whether in sober facts laced with anecdote, emotional outpourings, moralist speculation on the origins of the horror, or suffering distilled into poetry. 

There was a time when to read accounts of the Plague in Wittenburg by Martin Luther or the Great Plague of 1665 by Samuel Pepys – scenes of anguish and woe, empty streets, quarantined houses, closed businesses, overflowing graveyards, heroic doctors and nurses, quack remedies and charlatans – was to enter a disturbing and unfamiliar world. Today, those words bring a jolt of recognition and understanding. As well as causing a huge loss of life, the Covid pandemic has taught us a great deal about ourselves and the way we live, illuminating tensions at the heart of society. This collection of intimate and revelatory first-hand accounts of pandemics through the ages bears witness to despair, rage, the blackest of humour, heartbreak and hope. These voices hold up a mirror to our own experiences of, and responses to, the crisis today.

Paperback, 336 pages.
Measures 15.5 x 2.5 x 23.6 cm.