Historical Background

The Heretic’s Tomb takes place at the time of Black Death in the mid-fourteenth century. The first cases of the Black Death in England occurred during the reign of Edward III in the summer of 1348, and the disease spread quickly. By autumn, the plague had reached London, killing nearly half of the city’s 70,000 inhabitants. Over the next two years, between thirty and forty percent of the English population, or approximately two million people, died of the plague. In Europe as a whole, it is estimated that at least twenty-five million people died between 1347 and 1351. Outbreaks continued to occur periodically for centuries and the plague did not disappear from Europe until the eighteenth century. You can learn more about medieval medicine here on my website.

You can learn more about the historical background to the novel on Pinterest. Here are some links to sites with more information about the historical period depicted in the novel.

The Black Death                                                                              The Black Death: Bubonic Plague

The Black Death 1348                                                                     The Reign of Edward III

Map of Medieval London                                                                 The Hundred Years War


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