Described as "a golden age of pathogens", the long fifteenth century was notable for a series of international, national and regional epidemics that had a profound effect upon the fabric of society. The impact of pestilence upon the literary, religious, social and political life of men, women and children throughout Europe and beyond continues to excite lively debate among historians, as the ten papers presented in this volume confirm. They deal with the response of urban communities in England, France and Italy to matters of public health, governance and welfare, as well as addressing the reactions of the medical profession to successive outbreaks of disease, and of individuals to the omnipresence of Death, while two, very different, essays examine the important, if sometimes controversial, contribution now being made by microbiologists to our understanding of the Black Death. Contributors: J.L. Bolton, Elma Brenner, Samuel Cohn, John Henderson, Neil Murphy, Elizabeth Rutledge, Samantha Sagui, Karen Smyth, Jane Stevens Crawshaw, Sheila Sweetinburgh.