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The Great Plague Channel 5 9pm

(23 Posts)
Wingedharpy Thu 19-Nov-20 00:03:40

3 consecutive nights - last one on Thursday/today.
Anyone else watching this?
Absolutely fascinating - particularly now.

OP’s posts: |
gleegeek Thu 19-Nov-20 00:13:25

Just watched the first episode. Really interesting, fascinating to see all the new technology and how they're proving how it spread. Looking forward to seeing how it develops.

SchadenfreudePersonified Sat 21-Nov-20 18:39:32

Didn't know about it - but will watch it now. Sounds interesting.

FuzzyPuffling Sat 21-Nov-20 19:24:25

I thought it was fascinating, especially how much they seemed to now about transmission. Definitely worth watching.

SchadenfreudePersonified Tue 24-Nov-20 17:22:04

Really enjoyed this little series - thanks for the heads-up Harpy

(Most revolting moment: - the French virologist's lab, with the square of cloth teeming with body lice. I nearly vomited, and I'm not a squeamish person.)

FuzzyPuffling Tue 24-Nov-20 17:26:34

I can't imagine how flipping itchy it must have been to live in those days.

SchadenfreudePersonified Tue 24-Nov-20 17:32:49

from the history books I have read I know that one of the ways they destroyed lice and their eggs was by soaking clothes in barrels of urine.

So itchy and smelly.

FuzzyPuffling Tue 24-Nov-20 18:31:39

How come they had so many children then? A spotty, wee-smelling, lice-ridden chap wouldn't do it for me. (Even if I was a spotty, wee-smelling, lice-ridden wench)

SchadenfreudePersonified Tue 24-Nov-20 22:56:57

Well, Fuzzy, I suppose that if everybody around you smells of tinkle, then you stop noticing it - it was a pretty putrid time (not as bad as the 14th century, but still rather rank in many areas).

Also, strictly speaking, you only need one act of "hanky-panky" (as I believe the medical term is) to get pregnant - so theoretically once/year could get a girl up the duff every year, though breast-feeding acted as a slightly dodgy contraceptive, and she'd probably only fall pregnant every other year. So theoretically if a woman got married at 20 she could expect around 7 full-term pregnancies before succumbing to childbed fever, bubonic plague, the bloody flux, syphilis, malaria, scurvy or smallpox, all compounded by malnutrition (and probably rickets) around the age of 35. If she could last until then, she'd probably make it to around 60. Of course, at least two of those children would die before they were a year old, and a couple more before they were five. I expect there was a chance that by the time they were 12, one would be hanged for stealing bread and another press-ganged into the navy or prostitution (I think the age of consent was about 10). That leaves you with one . . .


barbedwired Tue 24-Nov-20 22:59:54

And we think we have it bad shock

whenwillthemadnessend Tue 24-Nov-20 23:02:13

Sounds interesting. Can you get it on catch up?

Ginfordinner Tue 24-Nov-20 23:02:14

What channel was it on? I would like to watch it on catch up.

SchadenfreudePersonified Tue 24-Nov-20 23:06:13

And at least we have chocolate barbedwire.

They didn't even have so much as a Twix to nibble on to take their minds off vermin, disease, sewage in the streets, and no anaesthetics.

Only gin.

Lovely, lovely gin.

Holothane Tue 24-Nov-20 23:16:18

I adored this and would pay money for this on dvd or blu ray, some hope the medical history never gets released.

catlovingdoctor Tue 24-Nov-20 23:22:48

Brilliant and informative! Quite surprising how the series challenged the commonly-held theory that fleas on rats were the main source of plague transmission.

FuzzyPuffling Wed 25-Nov-20 07:49:23

I have run out of Daz so I'm off to piddle on my tea towels.

( It was on channel 5 and is ( or was) on catch up)

Appuskidu Wed 25-Nov-20 07:54:55

Is this on catch up?

SchadenfreudePersonified Wed 25-Nov-20 08:02:47

Yes - it's on catch up. I watched after the OP posted on it. It's worth a watch.

SchadenfreudePersonified Wed 25-Nov-20 08:03:33


Brilliant and informative! Quite surprising how the series challenged the commonly-held theory that fleas on rats were the main source of plague transmission.

Rats and fleas get the blame for everything!

It's so unfair!

whenwillthemadnessend Wed 25-Nov-20 22:45:46

Watched first episode. Really enjoyed it. But it was gross!!!

Ginfordinner Wed 25-Nov-20 23:06:37

We watched the first episode tonight and really enjoyed it. I had no idea there had been an outbreak in Glasgow in 1900.

As it as a programme about bubonic plague I didn't think it was that gross.

ItsNotNormalLove Thu 26-Nov-20 00:15:28

DH and I just watched the first ep OP, thanks for the recommendation. The bit with the lice on the bit of cloth made me itch!!

As an aside, people in the concentration camps during World War Two were also crawling with body lice, which caused deadly outbreaks of Typhus.

SchadenfreudePersonified Thu 26-Nov-20 09:20:01

In "People of the Abyss"*, Jack London describes the death of an old woman living in poverty - her body was nearly missed because there were so many lice creeping infesting her that people had through it was just a grey blanket - as he said, No-one should live or die in such dreadful misery

*It's been umpteen decades since I read it, but this particular horror stuck in my mind

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