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Ralph Tailor's Summer: A Scrivener, His City and the Plague

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  28 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
The plague outbreak of 1636 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne was one of the most devastating in English history. This hugely moving study looks in detail at its impact on the city through the eyes of a man who stayed as others fled: the scrivener Ralph Tailor.

As a scrivener Tailor was responsible for many of the wills and inventories of his fellow citizens. By listening to and writi
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Hardcover, 224 pages
Published December 6th 2011 by Yale University Press (first published November 22nd 2011)
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Emma
Feb 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I had to read and review this book for University so I thought I'd post my review here.

Writing a history like Ralph Tailor’s Summer has many limitations and benefits. ‘History From Below’ is a history, told from the point of view of common people. While most histories focus on the well known people of the time, like the royal or the rich, ‘people’s history’ deals with the less famous, but equally important everyday people. Keith Wrightson’s book is a microhistory, focusing on the life of one man
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Icy Sedgwick
Jul 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Being fascinated by plague (don't judge me) and wanting to learn more about a period in my hometown's history, this book initially seemed like it would be a good read. Sadly, I've been wrong before.

This is a well-researched book BUT it's somehow lacking in any real depth. Wrightson frequently offers suppositions, followed by "But we'll never know", or "There's no way to know the truth", which becomes deeply irritating after the first few occurrences.

I didn't really feel that I learned anything n
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Eliszard
Nov 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: plague
Another chapter in the “I read it so you don’t have to” public service I pride myself of providing at wildly unpredictable intervals. Ralph Tailor’s Summer is neither infuriating nor fun. Unfortunately, these are both good qualities in books.

The Good: the history of a notary/scrivener’s career in Newcastle, glimpsed and reconstructed from mostly official documents he left behind (ah, the power of bureaucracy!). It starts during a plague epidemic in 1636 that brought him good business as a write
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Constance
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A micro history focusing on one scrivener and his work during plague years writing wills, inventories etc. the material is stretched a bit thin in places, but I found the material fascinating. Accompanying illustrations are appropriate and enlightening.
Michelle
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
My review is on my blog Contagions: http://contagions.wordpress.com/2013/...
Lynn
Sep 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, library-book


A tad dry at times, perhaps, but overall a fascinating glimpse into life in 17th century England.
Louise Garner
Apr 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great.
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Keith E. Wrightson, Randolph W. Townsend Jr. Professor of History, is a scholar of early modern British history. His books, which have been credited for their novel approach to English social and cultural history, include Poverty and Piety in an English Village: Terling, 1525-1700 (co-authored with David Levine), The Making of an Industrial Society. Whickham 1560-1765 (also with Levine), English S ...more
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