Download The Third Horseman: Climate Change and the Great Famine of the 14th Century Audiobook

The Third Horseman: Climate Change and the Great Famine of the 14th Century Audiobook, by William Rosen Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: William Rosen Narrator: William Hughes Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2014 ISBN: 9781482988758
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How a seven-year cycle of rain, cold, disease, and warfare created the worst famine in European history

In May 1315 it started to rain. It didn’t stop anywhere in north Europe until August. Next came the four coldest winters in a millennium. Two separate animal epidemics killed nearly 80 percent of northern Europe’s livestock. Wars between Scotland and England, France and Flanders, and two rival claimants to the Holy Roman Empire destroyed all remaining farmland. After seven years, the combination of lost harvests, warfare, and pestilence would claim six million lives—one eighth of Europe’s total population.

William Rosen draws on a wide array of disciplines, from military history to feudal law to agricultural economics and climatology, to trace the succession of traumas that caused the Great Famine. With dramatic appearances by Scotland’s William Wallace, the luckless Edward II, and his treacherous Queen Isabella, history’s best-documented episode of catastrophic climate change comes alive, with powerful implications for future calamities.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The interactions Rosen describes have been studied but are seldom incorporated into popular history, and the author never overreaches in his conclusions, providing a well-grounded chronicle. This book will appeal foremost to history lovers, but it should also interest anyone who enjoys a well-documented story.”

    Library Journal

  • “Erudite rendering of the cataclysmic climate changes wrought at the start of the fourteenth century. Rosen delights in the minutiae of history, down to the most fascinating footnotes. Here, the author delivers engrossing disquisitions on climate patterns and dynastic entanglements between England and Scotland (among others), and he posits that the decisive advent of cooler, wetter weather in the early fourteenth century signaled the beginning of the end of the medieval good times…A work that glows from the author’s relish for his subject.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

William Rosen, author of The Third Horseman, Justinian’s Flea, and The Most Powerful Idea in the World, among other books, was an editor and a publisher at Macmillan, Simon and Schuster, and the Free Press for nearly twenty-five years.

About the Narrator

William Hughes is an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator. A professor of political science at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon, he received his doctorate in American politics from the University of California at Davis. He has done voice-over work for radio and film and is also an accomplished jazz guitarist.