The Shaking of the Sheets: Death 1350-1660 by Jane Huggett. Published by Stuart Press as part of the Living History Reference Books Series 1st edition 1997. © Historical Management Associates Ltd. 1997. ISBN 1 85804 109 0.
34 page A5 booklet with many black and white contemporary illustrations. A study of attitudes and religious beliefs concerning death from the late Middle Ages to the English Civil War. The following is taken from the Introduction:
‘The motif of the Dance of Death is a common thread that runs through the entire period, appearing in drama, ballads, woodcuts, hangings and wall paintings. Skeletal Death carries off kings and clerics, lawyers, doctors and merchants, lovers, labourers, beggars and swaddled infants alike, dancing to the music of pipes. The best known representation is Holbein’s graphic rendering printed in 1538.
“There is nothing more certain than death, and nothing more uncertain than the hour of death” wrote the Hull merchant John Dalton in his will of 1487.
In 1640 the expectation of life at birth was about 32 years – more than a quarter of all children failed to reach their fifteenth birthday, by which time most had lost at least one parent. Only about 5% of the population attained the age of 60, not only was death frequent it invariably took place in the home.’
Condition as new.