Cover image for The Great Plague and Fire of London
The Great Plague and Fire of London
Shields, Charles J., 1951-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Philadelphia : Chelsea House Publishers, [2002]

Physical Description:
120 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
A detailed history of two disasters that befell London, England: the Great Plague of 1665 in which it is estimated that at least 70,000 died, and the Great Fire of 1666, which destroyed four-fifths of the city.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DA681 .S46 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



-- Some of the modern world's most devastating disasters are profiled
-- The reforms and improvements that grew out of these tragedies are explained and put in perspective
-- Historically accurate, compelling accounts
-- Selected titles contain quotes from eyewitnessesIn 1665, a plague ravished England; a fire a year later nearly destroyed the entire city of London.

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-10-Both of these volumes are replete with pertinent details and written in a lively prose style that engages readers from the outset. The events are placed "in historical perspective" as promised in the introductory essays and societal reactions are vividly shown. Melchiore carefully traces the development of the Inquisition, a man-made disaster. In pointing out that tolerance is a "fairly new concept," she suggests that Inquisitionlike movements rise up where tolerance is limited, an appropriate observation for our own troubled times. The author graphically demonstrates the church's focus in the 15th century on purity of religious faith as well as political power. Gail B. Stewart's Life during the Spanish Inquisition (Lucent, 1997) covers similar material, but the sequencing, fluidity, and style make Melchiore's volume a better choice. In combining the Black Death and the Great Fire of London in one volume, Shields presents a horrific picture of 17th-century London. The clear, descriptive prose and black-and-white reproductions enable readers to almost see and smell the filth of the city and the chaos and congestion of the time. The accidental cause of the Great Fire attributed to the King's baker followed closely on the heels of the plague. The destruction is documented, as are the new plans for the city that incorporated ideas to prevent a similar disaster, and the suggestion that the fire helped rid the city of the rats that helped to spread disease. Both books make history come alive.-Renee Steinberg, Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.