Triumphant Death chases Londoners from their city, but country folk (right), fearful of disease, drive them back. The picture is the title artwork from a 17th century pamphlet on the effects of the plague on London. This pamphlet, A Rod for Run-awayes, by Thomas Dekker, was published in 1625, one of the years in which a plague epidemic broke out. The plague (or Black Death) affected Europe from the 1340s to the 1700s. It is thought to have been bubonic plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, and spread by fleas on rats. During a typical outbreak, tens of thousands died in London alone.
March 13th, 2013
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