Professor Laura Ashe presents BBC4 programme on Plague Fiction

Laura Ashe

In light of the Covid-19 global outbreak, Professor Laura Ashe takes a look back at the Black Death of the 14th century, the deadliest pandemic in human history.

Going from one of the earliest accounts of plague in 1347 through to Samuel Pepys's record of the Great Plague of London in the 1660s, Professor Ashe explores how literature helped us cope with fear and tragedy, the importance of bravery and personal sacrifice, and whether the words of the past can offer us the comfort and healing that we need now.

The programme is available to watch on the BBC website