The Author of the Black Death: John Aberth

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Author, John Aberth was born on July 6, 1963. He currently lives in Roxbury, Vermont and serves as an associate academic dean at Castleton State College. There he teaches several history class. He has also taught at many other colleges in Vermont, including the University of Vermont. In 1992, John Aberth received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in Medieval Studies after he received his masters from the University of Leeds. He is the author of five books, whose main focus is the effects of the Black Death in the later Middle Ages, including The First Horsemen: Disease in Human History, The Black Death: The Great Mortality of 1348-1350, and A Knight at the Movies: Medieval History on Film. Published in 2001, From the Brink of the Apocalypse: Confronting Famine, Ware, Plague, and Death in the Later Middle Ages, is a mid-length, non-fiction, bibliographical novel. Aberth writes "both in his lively, readable style aimed at the nonspecialist and in his antiheroic, almost romantic portrayal of late medieval miseries," Kevin Hughes from Church History. The second edition of this novel includes many more examples from mainland Europe than the first version. Because Aberth is originates from England, his main focus is the experiences of the English during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. With his novel, Aberth develops a thesis that expresses his belief that the crises that struck Europe in the Middle Ages did not represent a period of decline. He believed it was a chance for Europeans to create new answers to solve their problems. The book begins with a prologue, in which a letter is sent from a musician working for a cardinal in 1347. It is sent from the papal court of Avignon and is received by some of the musician's ... ... middle of paper ... ...n the details of the disasters that took place in the Middle Ages, a textbook or a more encompassing book would be a wiser choice. However, a first year history college class could use the information in this book with ease. Aberth's writing style is easy to understand and he writes in a way that is easy to follow. He also ties his main thesis into his final sentence by saying "we can perhaps transcend our mortal prison through an appreciation of the art of our ancestors." Works Cited • Aberth, John. From the Brink of the Apocalypse: Confronting Famine, War, Plague, and Death in the Later Middle Ages. New York: Routledge, 2001. Print. • "Ancient and Medieval." Cambridge Journals. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2013. • "From the Brink of the Apocalypse: Confronting Famine, War, Plague, and Death in the Later Middle Ages." Medievalists.net. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2013.

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