I’m really under the hammer at the moment so when I realised that it was Wednesday I almost panicked. What to share, what to share? It’s a damp day here today – so what better than stuff on the plague!
A great site to start with is Black Death: Facts and Summary from the History channel site. It gives a great summary – and even a short video. People often forget that there were two types of plague: air-borne from person to person and via the bite of an infected flea.
If you would like a little more detail, the BBC History site has Black Death by Dr Mike Ibeji, which, although archived, is very informative, and provides other sources you may be interested in seeking out.
Now, there is a wealth of information out there that you can source so I thought I would try to provide you with some stuff that was a little different.
First up, for those of you with a scientific leaning, there is an article from the Smithsonian, written by Lorraine Boissoneault called ‘How Proteins Helped Scientists Read Between the Lines of a 1630 Plague Death Registry‘, which talks about how bacterial contamination can help reveal an abundance of information from the later plague of 1630.
If you are up for a bit of controversy, there is an article written this month by the BBC’s Victoria Gill about a another studying claiming that the fleas from rats were not responsible for the spread of the plague.
And of course, no blog with links to Black Death information would be complete without 10 Crazy Cures for the Black Death. While some, such as aromatherapy and even leeches I could live with, I’m not sure I would try washing in urine or living in a sewer …
There are lots of fiction books out there on the plague but my favourite to date is Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. Well worth a read (might read it again actually).
And I can’t let an opportunity go by without letting you know that in Heart of a Child, which is due out late March, I have a short story, Tell Us a Story, Pa, set during the plague in London in the mid-1300s. I loved writing this one so I hope you will all have a read when it is published.
Kerry A Waight - Author
A writer of historical fiction and paranormal stories.