This second in a two-volume set deals with a much shorter period of time than the first - from the impact of the Black Death to the urban crises at the end of the medieval era. However, the survival of fuller, richer and more varied records allows closer examination of the splendours and squalors of everyday life in the cities of the time. The book discusses urban government and social structure as they evolved in the wake of plagues, famines, trade disruptions and warfare. It concludes with separate chapters on urban women, education and culture.
David Nicholas is Professor of History at Clemson University, South Carolina.