Plague, Pestilence and Pandemic

Voices from History


A collection of intimate and revelatory first-hand accounts of pandemics through the ages

This book is not yet published, but will be available from April 2021.

ISBN: 9780500252581 Category:


When the great Muslim traveller Ibn Battuta visited Damascus in 1348 it was in the throes of a great plague which killed half of the population. Even so, he reported ‘God lightened their affliction; for the number of deaths in a single day at Damascus did not attain 2,000, while in Cairo it reached the figure of 24,000 a day’. Humankind has always struggled with illness and the experiences of different cities and countries have been compared and connected for thousands of years.

Plague, pestilence and pandemics have been part of the human story through the ages and have been reflected on at every turn. Many great authors have left us their eyewitness accounts or survivor stories. From the plagues of ancient Egypt recorded in Genesis to the Black Death that ravaged Europe in the Middle Ages to Covid-19, this anthology contains intimate, revelatory accounts. Across the world the array of human responses ranges from rage, despair, the blackest of humour, heartbreak and, finally, hard-won hope that it may all be over before so many of these events recede into the fog of history. Peter Furtado’s anthology places the human experience at the centre of the story.

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 15.3 x 23.5 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 April 2021
Number of pages 304
Format Hardback
Contributors Edited by Peter Furtado
Dimensions 15.3 x 23.5 cm
Weight 300 g
Peter Furtado is the editor of the Sunday Times bestselling Histories of Nations, History Day by Day, Revolutions and Great Cities Through Travellers' Eyes. He is the former editor of History Today.