Florence under siege : surviving plague in an early modern city
A vivid recreation of how the governors and governed of early seventeenth-century Florence confronted, suffered, and survived a major epidemic of plague Plague remains the paradigm against which reactions to many epidemics are often judged.
Here, John Henderson examines how a major city fought, suffered, and survived the impact of plague.
Going beyond traditional oppositions between rich and poor, this book provides a nuanced and more compassionate interpretation of government policies in practice, by recreating the very human reactions and survival strategies of families and individuals. From the evocation of the overcrowded conditions in isolation hospitals to the splendor of religious processions, Henderson analyzes Florentine reactions within a wider European context to assess the effect of state policies on the city, street, and family.
Writing in a vivid and approachable way, this book unearths the forgotten stories of doctors and administrators struggling to cope with the sick and dying, and of those who were left bereft and confused by the sudden loss of relatives.