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After giving an overview, Cantor describes various theories about the medical crisis, from contemporary fears of a Jewish conspiracy to poison the water (and the resulting atrocities against European Jews) to a growing belief among modern historians that both bubonic plague and anthrax caused the spiraling death rates. Cantor also details ways in which the Black Death changed history, at both the personal level (family lines dying out) and the political (the Plantagenet kings may well have been able to hold onto France had their resources not been so diminished).
Cantor veers from topic to topic, from dynastic worries to the Dance of Death, and from peasants' rights to Perpendicular Gothic. This makes for amusing reading, though those seeking an orderly narrative may be frustrated. He also seems overly concerned with rumors of homosexual behavior, and his attempt to link the savage method of Edward II's murder to a cooling in global weather is a bit farfetched.
Cantor wears his considerable scholarship lightly, but includes a very useful critical biography for further reading. While not an entry-level text on the Black Death, In the Wake of the Plague will interest readers looking for a broader interpretation of its consequences. --Sunny Delaney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I echo what other people said and stopped reading about 1/3 into the book. The author presented a promising objective, examining the plague from a person and society standpoint of... Read morePublished 3 months ago by J. C.
An incredible disappointment. Cantor's book is little more than an unfocused, triumphalism-drenched, just-so story that ends up as a hagiography of medieval history itself. Read morePublished 4 months ago by David Laws
I do not understand how so many reviewers without obvious credentials can trash this History. There seems to be some popular reason to go after it. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Edward J. Stack
You can count the paragraphs concerning the plague on your fingers and toes. The only reason I won't be returning it is for future hilarious quoting, like that the average... Read morePublished 6 months ago by David V
I have always been fascinated by the medieval era and the impact of the Black Death and the Hundred Years' War. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Kathleen Egan
There is some good information in here, but not much.
Mostly, the author gives condescending, homophobic, wandering digressions about various issues of the plague era. Read more
I very much enjoy Cantor's books, and this one is no exception. As well as a good overview of the plague: it's medical, social, and historical aspects, it provides lots of... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Steven Williams
This book feels like it was written during a summer's vacation. Certainly Cantor has a large body of medieval European history at his fingertips, and much of the book is diffuse... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Jordan Bell