In the manner of the series, a chronicle composed mostly of excerpts from documents of the period, complete with marginal...

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THE BLACK DEATH AND THE PEASANTS' REVOLT

In the manner of the series, a chronicle composed mostly of excerpts from documents of the period, complete with marginal guidewords and contemporary photographs, of the related phenomena of plague, labor shortage, social upheaval and revolt. Coverage is superficial and at times misleadingly simplistic; for example, Cowie implies if only by the selection and arrangement of his quotations and the omission of others that the English peasant uprisings of 1381 were directly traceable to Wycliff's religious radicalism. There is no pretense to analysis of reported conditions and events; on the other hand the account of the Black Death (which draws heavily on Ziegler's The Black Death, 1969, though of course quoting Boccaccio at length) never discusses the 14th century physicians' theories and practices regarding the epidemic. Of medieval medicine we have only an incantation used in gathering (unspecified) herbs and a bizarre remedy for wounds, cited as evidence of the prevailing ignorance. (Consideration of Campbell's scholarly Black Death and Men of Learning would at least have yielded more appropriate examples.) Cowie's source notes indicated that the whole thing was hastily compiled from a few modern studies and collections for students who want their history predigested.

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 1973

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1973