HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Great Dying: The Black Death in Dublin…
Loading...

The Great Dying: The Black Death in Dublin

by Maria Kelly

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
401285,656 (3.4)None

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

http://nhw.livejournal.com/1076807.html

Given the extreme paucity of sources, Kelly has done a very good job - she makes the most of what few records there are, signals clearly where there is disagreement in the secondary literature, and is honest about the extent to which she is arguing evidence of absence from absence of evidence. It builds up into a convincing story: the 1348-50 outbreak of plague was devastating to Leinster and Munster, and much less so to Ulster and Connacht; and in particular it was devastating to the towns and communities of Anglo-Irish settlement, some of which never recovered - she estimates the pre-plague population of New Ross, Co Kilkenny Wexford, at over 12,000; today it is less than 8,000!

The result of this was a depopulated and reduced area of English control in Ireland, retreating into the Pale, and an effective decentralisation of power to the Gaelic and Anglo-Irish chieftains and intensification of warfare between them, all in the context of a devastated economy - merchants and sailors were especially badly hit, so trade effectively vanished, and meanwhile the price of labour soared, and the plague had literally killed off any chance of importing workers from England. The Irish population may not have returned to pre-plague levels until the 18th century. If anything Kelly slightly undersells the huge impact of the plague on Ireland, given the evidence she presents.

Kelly mainly draws on administrative and archaeological evidence, but there are a couple of personalities who stand out. One is Richard FitzRalph, the Archbishop of Armagh, who preached fiery sermons while worrying about church administration (especially staffing levels, for obvious reasons). The other is Friar John Clyn of Kilkenny, who chronicled the advance (and symptoms) of the plague from the Dublin ports across Leinster, seeing it as the end of civilisation and the first step of the apocalypse, before himself falling victim to it; the closing words of his chronicle, written perhaps when he already knew he was ill, are poignant.

Anyway, a good book, though I have a serious complaint about the index which has completely inaccurate page numbers. ( )
1 vote nwhyte | Aug 17, 2008 |
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0752431854, Paperback)

Transported by rats and fleas in the trading vessels plying between Ireland, England, and France, the plague appeared in Dublin and Drogheda in the summer of 1348. By land and sea it penetrated many regions, reaching outwards to Waterford, Youghal, Cork, and Limerick, wiping out whole communities in its path. Maria Kelly goes in search of the “Great Pestilence” and traces how the Irish reacted to this seemingly invisible killer.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:35 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

No library descriptions found.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 wanted

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.4)
0.5
1
1.5
2 1
2.5
3 1
3.5
4 3
4.5
5

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 119,992,371 books! | Top bar: Always visible