The Black Death

The Black Death coverThe Black Death

Submitter: Other than the cover (is that E.T. wielding the scythe of death? Why is he not wearing any clothes? Why is the dead man on the ground smiling?), this book is actually not that bad, just really old. Old enough to be concerned that “AIDS may soon become as damaging as the plague once was.” The pages are yellowed, the illustration style is pretty dated, and there are plenty of good newer books on the topic available. At 32 years old, this book has had a full life.

Holly: All the people in all the pictures in this book look like Zombies.



Anger at Priests and Physicians


  1. Funny you should say the people in the book all look like zombies since the plague may have been what started the whole belief that the dead could be reanimated. People were tossing bodies into mass graves so rapidly that they might not have noticed that some of the victims were still alive, and then afterwards they’d dig their way back up and and be stumbling back towards the town.

  2. “ is that E.T. wielding the scythe of death? Why is he not wearing any clothes?”
    If you look more closely, I think you’ll see that the “ET” is actually female. And I’ve noticed in a lot of old illustrations that people being killed or tortured smile. Maybe because they know they are going to heaven, or at least leaving this mortal coil?

  3. How is that lady alive and angry at the apothecary if his cures made her worse? If this was today she would be an anti-vaxxer angry that he was encouraging her to get a vaccine and refusing to sell her a cure for scabies or parasitical worms.

    1. Maybe some other infectious disease? That we now call it _The_ Plague suggests there were other “plagues” of different types, similar to the ones in (I think) the Book of Exodus.

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