Thursday, December 22, 2011

Religious Hysteria and the Black Plague

Lovely bones make a lovely face, and underneath the fictional flesh of each historical novel lie the lovely bones of history. The English Historical Fiction Authors (EHFA) blog gives historical novelists a chance to share their historical work and reach out to their readers. Each day the site features a nonfiction post by a historical novelist, usually related to some historical topic they have researched for their novel.

Today, I have a post over at the EHFA blog that ties in with the research for my book I Serve: A Novel of the Black Prince. It's titled, "Scourge of Europe: The Religious Hysteria Created by the Black Plague."
Death has always been one of the most frightening prospects faced by mankind. The fear of death even has its own word to describe it—thanotophobia. In a society where a third to a half of the people around you have succumbed to death within the past year, the terror of knowing that you might be next can become overwhelming. It can drive a person to bizarre and unthinkable acts as he tries to ward off death’s icy grip from descending on his own shoulder. This is what happened in the mid-fourteenth century, during the years of the Black Plague. The world went wild with thanotophobia, and the country of England was no exception.... (read more)

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