After the Black Death: Economy, society, and the law in fourteenth-century England

ISBN : 9780198857884

Mark Bailey
384 ページ
153 x 234 mm

The Black Death of 1348-9 is the most catastrophic event and worst pandemic in recorded history. After the Black Death offers a major reinterpretation of its immediate impact and longer-term consequences in England. After the Black Death studies how the government reacted to the crisis, and how communities adapted in its wake. It places the pandemic within the wider context of extreme weather and epidemiological events, the institutional framework of markets and serfdom, and the role of law in reducing risks and conditioning behaviour, drawing upon recent research into climate and disease and manorial and government sources. The government's response to the Black Death is reconsidered in order to cast new light on the Little Divergence (whereby economic performance in north western Europe began to move decisively ahead of the rest of the continent) and the Peasant's Revolt of 1381. By 1400, the effect of plague had worked through economy and society, having wide-ranging implications. After the Black Death rescues the end of the fourteenth century from a little-understood paradox between plague and revolt, and elevates it to a critical period of profound and irreversible change in English and global history.


1 Introduction
2 Old Problems, New Approaches
3 Reaction and Regulation, 1349 to 1380
4 A Mystery Within an Enigma: The Economy, 1355 to 1375
5 Injustice and Revolt
6 A New Equilibrium? Economy and Society, 1375 to 1400
7 The Decline of Serfdom and the Origins of the 'Little Divergence'
8 Conclusion


Mark Bailey is a Professor of Late Medieval History at the University of East Anglia. He was previously a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College at the University of Cambridge, a Visiting Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and a James Ford Lecturer in British History at the University of Oxford, 2019. He is the co-author of Modelling the Middle-Ages (Oxford University Press, 2001) and The Decline of Serfdom in Late Medieval England (Boydell and Brewer, 2014).