Between 1347 and 1350, the Black Death killed at least one third of Europe's inhabitants. Bringing total destruction, the plague was greeted with incomprehension and a terrified helplessness as it spread from Asia into Europe, reaching England in 1348. Philip Ziegler's classic account traces the course of the virulent epidemic through Europe and its dramatic effect on the lives of those whom it afflicted. It includes detailed chapters on the state of medical knowledge, the position of the church, and the broader social and economic repercussions such as well as a fascinating reconstruction of life in a medieval English village suddenly overtaken by plague. This second edition contains a new preface and a new chapter on the Black Death in recent historiography.