Norman F. Cantor

Books: History | Europe | Medicine

In the Wake of the Plague The Black Death & the World it Made (2001)

In the Wake of the Plague The Black Death & the World it Made

What is it about non-fiction books, that makes the authors of such write fantastic books until the last chapter, at which point you may as well skip the last couple pages. I dunno either, but I really liked this book, excluding the last chapter, which bored me for some reason. Two paragraphs particularly struck me from this work:

"(The barristers) perforce got so expert in doing these things that they created a body of real estate law that is largely still in effect today. A barrister of 1350 deep frozen and thawed out today would need only a six-month refresher course at a first-rate American law school to practice property or real estate law today. In every U.S. law school, a required course in the first semester for entering students is entitled "property." Its principles and procedures were worked out empirically by the English bar in the fourteenth century, given a big boost by the carnage and confusion visited upon the gentry families by the Black Death.

The other beneficiaries of the plague, besides lawyers, were women of the gentry class."

"The rarest attribute in any society and culture, when things are generally going well, and peace and prosperity reign, and bellies are full, and the sun shines and the rain falls appropriately, is to notice certain cracks in the edifice, some defects ad problems, which if not attended to could in time undermine the happy ambience and bring on distress and terror."

Although I do have to admit that it did take me several months to get through this book, so it may not be for everyone.