“… a piece of astonishing medical detective work…” (Observer, 16 May 2004)
“… a good account of the history of the three great plagues.” (Nature, 8th July 2004)
“… a compelling read…” (NewScientist.com, July 2004)
“Using documents of unimaginably diverse provenance, Susan Scott and Christopher Duncan assume the role of ‘plague detectives’.” (The Lancet, July 2004)
“…a compelling read…” (New Scientist, July 04)
“…humour, accessible style and gripping disgust-factor…well written…a rare achivement…” (Lancet, July 04)
From the Inside Flap
The Black Death appeared out of the blue in Sicily in 1347 and moved swiftly on to kill half of Europe in three years. Once the plague had established a stronghold in France it continued to terrorize the continent for another three centuries. London's Great Plague of 1665-66, which claimed 6000 lives a week at its height, was its last great strike. A few years later it disappeared as suddenly and mysteriously as it had appeared. Susan Scott and Christopher Duncan uncover the tragic and moving human stories behind the records: unsung heroes, bereaved parents, parted lovers and those who exploited the suffering of others for their own greed. They also trace the origins of this lethal disease, through possible earlier outbreaks in classical times back to its animal hosts in Africa. Here it remains but there is no reason to believe it has gone for good.