Monday, June 30, 2008

Inside the Surviving Record

From a review of John Hatcher’s book The Black Death:

“In the flood of histories of institutions, major events and long-term processes, life as it was lived for most of the time frequently gets left out of the picture.” This is an essential recitation of his method in "The Black Death" (Da Capo Press, 318 pages, $27.50) — to draw patiently from the available documents any clues, no matter how tiny or seemingly insignificant, as to just how life was lived at the time by ordinary people — and so to write medieval history "from the inside," from the point of view of the peasant and the parson, rather than from the traditional perspective of the prince or the panjandrum.

Link to the review: