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The Great Mortality


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A compelling history of the Black Death that scoured Europe in the mid-14th century killing 25 million people. It was one of the worst human disasters in history. / At school, everyone is taught about The Black Death. This book reveals what it was really like. / John Kelly movingly reconstructs the lives, and deaths, of those involved through fragments of letters and diaries that have survived through the centuries

About the Author

John Kelly, who holds a graduate degree in European history, is the author and coauthor of ten books on science, medicine, and human behavior, including Three on the Edge, which Publishers Weekly called the work of "an expert storyteller." He lives in New York City.


'Kelly is a fair-minded and reliable guide, with a gift for providing racy and vivid background for those who know nothing of the middle-ages.' Independent on Sunday 'There has never been a better researched, better written or more engaging account of the worst epidemic the world has ever known than this' Simon Winchester, author of THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN AND KRAKATOA 'Kelly approaches the story of the greatest tragedy in history like a forensic detective who must first recreate the life of the victims before examining their deaths. While writing with a keen eye for the telling details of the past, Kelly's book might also be a warning about our own future.'Jack Weatherford, author of GENGHIS KHAN

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