King Death: The Black Death and its Aftermath in Late-Medieval England by Colin PlattKing Death: The Black Death and its Aftermath in Late-Medieval England by Colin Platt

King Death: The Black Death and its Aftermath in Late-Medieval England

byColin Platt

Paperback | March 25, 1996

Pricing and Purchase Info

$18.94 online 
$30.95 list price save 38%
Earn 95 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


Ships within 1-3 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


The black death came to England in 1347 and for three centuries bubonic plague remained a continual and threatening presence in the everyday life (and death) of the country. The Black Death and subsequent population losses are central, therefore, to any understanding of the period.

From rural labourer to nobleman, from village priest to abbot, contemptuous of rank and wealth, Death was the guest of every late-medieval household in 'pestilence time.' In this masterly survey, Colin Platt examines what it was like to live with plague at all levels of society. Drawing on evidence from architecture and the arts, he examines the visible legacies of the investment that Christian men and women made in the provision of after-death soul-care. In addition he examines the social and economic consequences of a steep and unprecedented population decline. It is argued that the severe labour shortage that persisted for over a century after the Black Death ultimately broke the ties of feudal bondage.

Written with verve and rich in detail, King Death offers an important analysis of one of the most potent instruments of change in late-medieval England, and a fascinating insight into the industry of death that pestilence brought with it. It will be required reading for all students of late-medieval England.

Colin Platt is a professor of Art History at Southampton University.
Title:King Death: The Black Death and its Aftermath in Late-Medieval EnglandFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 9.1 × 6.12 × 0.69 inPublished:March 25, 1996Publisher:University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0802079008

ISBN - 13:9780802079008

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents


  1. Mortalities
  2. Shrunken towns
  3. Villages in stasis
  4. Impoverished noblemen and rich old ladies
  5. Knight, esquire and gentleman
  6. Of monks and nuns
  7. Like people, like priest
  8. Protest and resolution
  9. Architecture and the arts
  10. What matters




Editorial Reviews

'Colin Platt has now given us a lively and lucidly written new work that incorporates all the latest scholarship and historical debate about this extraordinary crisis ... Death indeed was king during the late Middle Ages, and Platt's book is now the best treatment of the subject for undergraduates.'

- Richard Winderli - History: Review of New Books