A good introduction to the topic, but no more,
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Great Plague of London (Taschenbuch)
1665 was the year of the last great outbreak of the plague in London and southeast England. In this book, Stephen Porter gives a short summery of the events in London and the other parts of British Isles that were affected. He also puts this epidemic in perspective by comparing it both to earlier outbreaks in England and the history of the plague in Europe.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, parts of the book were rather dry to read as they rely heavily on statistics of mortality. By not focusing on London, but including the outbreak in the rest of England, Porter cannot give more than a surface picture of this epidemic. Though it includes quotes from various contemporaries, including (inevitably) Pepys, the book fails to give to give the reader an impression of the situation in London or the other town where the plague struck, how this inexplicable and uncontrollable disease must have affected the people who lived through this. What I missed most, however, was an analysis of the events, an attempt at least to correlate what was thought about the disease then and the measures taken with what we now know of the illness today. Except for a few, very short sections the book simply recounts events without analysing them.
On the cover the book is praised as 'An excellent introduction for the general reader'. I just have to face the fact that I am not the 'general reader', perhaps expecting to much of such a short book. But I can 'The Great Plague of London' only give three stars.
The book also contains a section of interesting illustrations. Unfortunately, at least in the paperback edition, some of the pictures are reproduced in such a small size that what they show is hardly discernible.