Norman F. Cantor, In The Wake Of The Plague, The Black Death And The World It Made

1259 words - 5 pages

Norman F. Cantor is a qualified historian who studies the Middle Ages. He has written many books regarding the Middle Ages. In his extremely detailed book, In the Wake of the Plaque, he writes about what he calls “the greatest biomedical disaster in European and possibly world history.” (Cantor, Wake p. 6) His book is divided into three parts. The first part tells about the biomedical effects and symptoms of the plague, the second part analyzes the effects it had on all the people, cultures, societies, and institutions in Europe, and in the last part of the book it covers the aftermath and the history of the plague. The Black Death also had a huge impact on art and literature. According to Cantor the rhyme Ring Around the Rosie was based on the bubonic plague and the flu like symptoms. To repress the memory of the plague the children would dance around and sing this rhyme. (Cantor, Wake p.5)
He describes how the loss of lives affected the people who survived. He also goes into detail about the Jewish conspiracy and how the Jews were to blame for all this. He illustrated about how the Black Death affected many families, cultures, societies, and institutions during the thirteenth century. (Cantor, Wake p. 10) He made remarkable parallels throughout the book between BSE and HIV/AIDS.
The author begins the book by talking about the biomedical crisis, later known as The Black Death, or bubonic plague, that attacked Europe during the fourteenth century. Cantor later tells about how the people came in contact with the plague and the symptoms that later occurred. The people who had been affected by the plague would first experience flu like symptoms, which usually included a high fever, in the second stage they would get buboes, which is also known as black welts and bulges, that appeared in the groin or armpits, and the final stage they would have respiratory failure (pneumonia) and die. (Cantor, Wake p.12) If you were affected by this plague, it was a four out of five probabilities that you would die. Cantor stated that this disease was a parasite that was carried by rodents, mainly black rats. (Cantor, Wake p. 10) He later stated that this plague was also carried by fleas an if the infected flea bit you then you would get this disease. Minnesota’s Department of Health agreed with Cantor's theory on how you came in contact with this disease. They stated in an article that you could get this plague from infected animals and it was a disease that was spread by bites from infected fleas. According to Graham Twiggs book Misunderstood Diseases the bubonic plague has been just a misunderstood disease, at least in the environmental aspect. He says that the bacteria called Y.petis caused the reason for all the deaths, but in Graham Twiggs’ book The Black Death: A Biological Reappraisal he stated that it was impossible for rats and fleas to have transmitted the bubonic plague because the climate made it impossible.
In England the plagues’ impact was more...

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