A work of genuine social history, After the Black Death leads the listener into the villages and cities of European society. The book begins with an overview of family and community structure, social conflict, and religious beliefs. After describing the fundamental traits of both rural and urban society, it considers the elites, armed rebellion, poverty, criminality, sexual behavior, and marriage practices.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
What was one of the most memorable moments of After the Black Death?
Descriptions of relationships in the early modern villages and towns.
What about Neil Holmes’s performance did you like?
Good reading, but perhaps a little fast.
Any additional comments?
Despite what others have commented, this book makes no pretense of being at all about the bubonic plague. The social and economic history of Europe after the Plague is literally the subject, because the Black Death is a real dividing event in European history, separating the Medieval world from the modern. The author's descriptions of life and economics in the early modern villages and towns is fascinating and one only regrets that there is not more information. What I found especially interesting was how society was transformed by the slow separation of people into classes of wealth and power, and poverty. The analogies with the world of the 19th century and the 21st century, with their concentrations of wealth and the social stagnation this brought was especially interesting, although one wonders if the analogies are too close to be objective. Nonetheless, I found the book fascinating.
A thousand years after fall of Western Roman Empire the modern West begins taking shape. This book does a good service in describing this era. It also briefly contrasts the rest of the world that developed quite differently.
This is especially true regarding the more independent status of women and the primacy of the single nuclear family in the West versus primacy of extended families and extreme Paternal Authority outside the West.
I would have liked the author to have elaborated on these comparisons but he is clear these were important differences.
He does not adequately explain the huge population gains that preceded this era. The earlier era is known as the medieval climate optimum that came crashing down with the little ice age. The onset of cold weather killed of about 1/3 the entire population.
This book enters history just when the population recovers and re expands into the new and lesser carrying capacity - and adapts with stable population levels appropriate to that capacity.
Would you try another book from George Huppert and/or Neil Holmes?
This book should have been heavily edited to organize and condense repetitive text. I couldn't get past the first chapter.
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
Narrator was fine.
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