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Farming Famine and Plague The Impact of Climate in Late Medieval England

Release: Farming.Famine.and.Plague.The.Impact.of.Climate.in.Late.Medieval.England

  • Sprache: Englisch
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Farming, Famine and Plague: The Impact of Climate in
Late Medieval England by Kathleen Pribyl
English | 24 July 2017 | ISBN: 3319559524 | 307 Pages |
PDF | 4.38 MB
This book is situated at the cross - roads of
environmental, agricultural and economic history and
climate science. It investigates the climatic background
for the two most significant risk factors for life in the crisis
- prone England of the Later Middle Ages: subsistence
crisis and plague. Based on documentary data from
eastern England, the late medieval growing season
temperature is reconstructed and the late summer
precipitation of that period indexed. Using these data,
and drawing together various other regional (proxy) data
and a wide variety of contemporary documentary
sources, the impact of climatic variability and extremes on
agriculture, society and health are assessed. Vulnerability
and resilience changed over time: before the population
loss in the Great Pestilence in the mid - fourteenth
century meteorological factors contributing to subsistence
crises were the main threat to the English people, after
the arrival of Yersinia pestis it was the weather conditions
that faciliated the formation of recurrent major plague

Agriculture and harvest success in late medieval England
were inextricably linked to both short term weather
extremes and longer term climatic fluctuations. In this
respect the climatic transition period in the Late Middle
Ages (c. 1250 - 1450) is particularly important since the
broadly favourable conditions for grain cultivation during
the Medieval Climate Optimum gave way to the Little Ice
Age, when agriculture was faced with many more
challenges; the fourteenth century in particular was
marked by high levels of climatic variability.
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