"Joseph Byrne, a medievalist well versed in myriad aspects of the period, displays his command of the era by examining aspects of bubonic plague. His skill at humanistic analysis reaches a height in such topics as virgin soil disease, medical education, remedies, and repopulation. . . . Overall, the comprehensive A to Z entries, timeline, maps and illustrations, bibliography, glossary, and detailed index provide high school, public, and college and university libraries with a valuable tool for understanding one of Earth's most terrifying catastrophes."
"I found this a very interesting reference work which examines the profound effect the epidemic had on the social and political landscape in European and Islamic countries as well as changes in medicine, medical studies and government-controlled public health policies. . . . Overall, this is a work which I think expands knowledge of the plague, not just during the period of the official Black Death, but also by providing the context of all three pandemics, how each one relates to the other, and how society, biomedicine, public health and politics respond to these crises, and developed as a result. This book would be an excellent addition to academic e-collections, of particular interest to humanities students of all disciplines, and historians. Scientists studying the history of medicine and biomedicine may also find this useful."
"This is a terrific subject encyclopedia. . . . This will be a very useful acquisition for academic libraries in particular, especially those at institutions with programs in medieval history, history of science, and the humanities. Highly recommended."
"The work begins with a helpful list of entries by topic (among them, 'Arts and Literature,' 'Biomedical Causes and Issues,' and 'Religion') and a time line. Entries are short, running one to two pages, and cover the typical (Alchemy, Animals, Fleas, Mass graves and plague cemeteries) and the unexpected ( Abandonment, Purgatory, Sumptuary laws) as well as many of the notable people of the times. The writing is clear and straightforward. All entries conclude with a list of references, and see also references are included, where helpful. A glossary, an extensive bibliography, and a general index round out the work. This single-volume resource will serve as a good starting point for research on the Black Death."