'The Black Death,' John Hatcher's Remarkable History of the Plague
by Simon Winchester
The New York Sun
This totally absorbing book presents the best account ever written about the worst event to have ever befallen the British Isles. In the hands of John Hatcher, an English medievalist of sober and steady reputation who has for decades been squirreled away in one of the smaller, older, and least obtrusive of Cambridge colleges, the extraordinary tragedy of the great plague — which wiped out as much as 60% of the population of 14th-century Europe and killed an estimated 75 million worldwide — has been brought to life in a manner rarely attempted, and with a level of success even more rarely achieved.
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