Aberth, John 1963-

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ABERTH, John 1963-

PERSONAL:

Born 1963. Education: Cambridge University, Ph.D., 1992.

ADDRESSES:

Home—2074 West Hill Rd., Roxbury, VT 05669. Office—Castleton State College, 86 Seminary St., Castleton, VT 05735; fax: 802-468-5237. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Author and professor of history. Castleton State College, Castleton, VT, associate academic dean, 2003—. Taught history at various colleges, including: University of Nebraska, Omaha; Norwich University, Northfield, VT; Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT; and University of Vermont, Burlington.

WRITINGS:

Criminal Churchmen in the Age of Edward III: The Case of Bishop Thomas de Lisle, Pennsylvania State University Press (University Park, PA), 1996.

From the Brink of the Apocalypse: Confronting Famine, War, Plague, and Death in the Later Middle Ages, Routledge (New York, NY), 2001.

A Knight at the Movies: Medieval History on Film, Routledge (New York, NY), 2003.

The Black Death: The Great Mortality of 1348-1350, Bedford/St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2004.

SIDELIGHTS:

John Aberth has taught medieval history at the university level at numerous colleges in the United States, and has written books focusing on the medieval period, on topics ranging from corrupt clergymen to the Black Death.

Aberth's first book, Criminal Churchmen in the Age of Edward III: The Case of Bishop Thomas de Lisle, was published in 1996. Aberth reviews the story of de Lisle, Bishop of Ely from 1345 to 1361, who had close ties to organized crime and was later banished from England by King Edward III. J. S. Hamilton, writing in the Journal of Church and State, called the book "an extremely interesting and insightful account of a fascinating personality." Praising Aberth's careful attention to details and research and his "skill, balance, and clear-sighted judgment," a reviewer for Religion referred to the book as "a model of scholarship."

Two of Aberth's books chronicle the impact of the plague and other calamities on medieval and modern society. From the Brink of the Apocalypse: Confronting Famine, War, Plague, and Death in the Later Middle Ages describes in grisly detail how the Black Death consumed its victims and how the disease decimated the population of Europe. Paralleling the representation of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse—famine, war, pestilence, and death—Aberth explores the history of this era of chaos and its far-reaching implications. On the Jam Web site, Anouk Hoedeman praised From the Brink of the Apocalypse as "a worthy tale," adding that Aberth "blends meticulous research with good storytelling to create a fascinating and informative book." Eamon Duffy, writing in the New York Review of Books, remarked, "Thorough, balanced, and courteous in tone, this survey of the social, political, and moral landscape of the late Middle Ages inspires confidence even when it invites disagreement."

Alberth's The Black Death: The Great Mortality of 1348-1350 is a more in-depth look at the impact of the plague epidemics of the Middle Ages on European and Islamic societies. His 2003 work, A Knight at the Movies: Medieval History on Film, describes how medieval history is presented on film in the context of what may be the most common way modern society learns about the period: on the big screen.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

English Historical Review, April, 2000, Jonathan Hughes, review of Criminal Churchmen in the Age of Edward III: The Case of Bishop Thomas de Lisle, p. 442.

Journal of Church and State, autumn, 1997, J. S. Hamilton, review of Criminal Churchmen in the Age of Edward III, pp. 805-806.

New York Review, May 23, 2002, Eamon Duffy, review of From the Brink of the Apocalypse: Confronting Famine, War, Plague, and Death in the Later Middle Ages, pp. 40-43.

ONLINE

Bedford, Freeman & Worth Publishing Group Web site,http://www.bfwpub.com/ (October 9, 2004).

Jam!,http://www.canoe.ca/ (March 11, 2001), Anouk Hoedeman, "Death Becomes Them: How Europe Survived the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse."

Pennsylvania State University Press Web site,http://www.psupress.org/ (October 9, 2004), review of Criminal Churchmen in the Age of Edward III: The Case of Bishop Thomas de Lisle.

Routledge Web site,http://www.routledge-ny.com/ (October 9, 2004).*