chapter  19
Crisis and calamity
Pages 21

The fourteenth century witnessed famine, plague, warfare, social viol-ence, economic contraction, religious anxiety and other threats to the survival of Christendom. Things were so bad that historians have labelled the fourteenth century an extended period of ‘crisis’. The subtitle of Barbara Tuchman’s popular book, A Distant Mirror, even called the fourteenth century ‘calamitous’.