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The Beginning: The Alternative Theories Of Shrewsbury And Morris

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Chapter Summary

The central line of argument throughout J.F.D. Shrewsbury's monograph, A History of Bubonic Plague in the British Isles is that the introduction of bubonic plague meant only a small but significant increase in the prevailing generally high level of epidemic mortality of those times. In contrast to Karlsson, Cohn, and Scott and Duncan, Shrewsbury does not invent or introduce new or unknown diseases or mutated forms of other diseases unknown to modern medicine, but presents a composite alternative theory in which plague plays only a minor contributory role. In a sharply critical review paper of Shrewsbury's monograph, C. Morris launched another alternative theory, namely that the Black Death and later plague epidemics were primary pneumonic plague. i.e., caused by the same pathogen Yersinia pestis but disseminated by interhuman spread of infected droplets.

Keywords: Bubonic Plague; C.Morris's theory; Shrewsbury's theory; Yersinia pestis



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