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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Rumors are heard of distant illness, fear gathers as what is clearly a terrible disaster edges ever closer, neighbors appear with lurid tales, and then suddenly local people become afflicted. Skins turn black, huge swellings appear in groins and armpits, blood is spat, and horrible, hacking death sweeps in like a rainsquall and at incredible speed, leaving thousands to be limed and buried, while stunned communities try desperately to recover sanity and order.

Simon Winchester reviews John Hatcher's The Black Death in the New York Sun.