The Shaking of the Sheets; Death 1350-1660

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Huggett, Jane


The motif of the dance of death is a common thread that runs through the entire period, appearing in drama, ballads, woodcuts, hangings and wall-paintings. In 1640, the expectation of life at birth was about 32 years, more than a quarter of all children failed to reach their 15th birthday, by which time most had lost at least one parent. Only about 5% of the population attained the age of 60. Not only was death frequent, it invariably took place in the home, and in a relatively public manner with relatives, friends and usually a minister gathered around the deathbed. Thus people were familiar with death in all its aspects from childhood onwards. So although the fear of death was as great, indeed given the general belief in Hell, probably greater, than it is today, the attitude towards death may well have been healthier.

The period covered by this booklet begins at the black death and ends in 1660 with the Burial in Wool Act which was ultimately to transform the whole funeral process.

Further details:

Softcover:36 pages
Language: English
Illustrations: Black & White/Line Illustrations
Product Dimensions:21.0 x 14.5 x 0.3 cm

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Additional information

Weight 0.1 kg


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