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Bettie's Books

A Stuga On the Cusp of the Orust Riviera, tucked away next to a hobbit hole in the woods.

Greater Love by Don Shaw

bookshelves: radio-4, winter-20152016, dec-2015-free-for-all, play-dramatisation, plague-disease, nonfiction, britain-england, eng-derbyshire, history
Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Laura
Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from November 28 to December 04, 2015



Description: A new young Rector battles for authority with the puritanical former rector. William announces the betrothal of Emmy and Rowland but then he and Stanley are called to tend to a sick villager who dies before they arrive. Stanley identifies plague from experience. William, shocked, fails to anoint the tailor. Stanley suspects the cause is cloth brought from London. It must be burnt and a quick burial to keep secrecy, prevent panic.

Further Info:- There are strong parallels between the Ebola crises today, and the Plague in Eyam in1665. In both cases ignorance spread the disease.

SUMMARY: William Mompesson, a Cambridge graduate, arrives with wife Catherine as replacement for the sacked Puritan Thomas Stanley. Embittered, Stanley lives on village charity while William lives finely in the rectory on money donated by the squire. Stanley, having been rector for 17 years naturally has most of the men on his side. William believes that fleeing the village is the answer. Stanley insists on incarceration. This incredible true story charts how the whole village, with the exception of the richest - squires etc. decided to stay inside the village boundaries in order not to spread the Plague. So effective no-one is allowed out of the village, nor anyone new allowed in. The greatest compassion arises from the story of two young lovers, Emmy Sydall and her fiancé Rowland.

1/5: The true story of the Derbyshire village of Eyam during The Plague of 1665-66 in which characters and their values change as tragedy unfolds, as the whole village effectively agrees to stay in the village in order for the Plague not to spread.

2/5: Emmy's sister, Sarah has died, and the secret is out in the village. Stanley and William quell panic by assuring the villagers everything is under control.

3/5: Villagers are trying to flee, and Stanley tries to persuade them to stay. As Emmy loses more of her family, her mother is losing her mind. Marshall Howe volunteers to bury the dead if he can keep their belongings.

4/5: Emmy has the fever herself, and William and Catherine have taken her into the rectory. Marshall Howe, the official burier of the dead, discovers a lone child, who is traumatised and unable to speak.

5/5: Rowland tries desperately to find a way for he, Emmy and the boy to flee the village, but it's too late.
As the loss increases in the village, William and Stanley reconcile their differences.
William Al Weaver
Catherine Emily Pithon
Thomas Stanley David Calder
Emmy Sydall Charlie May-Clark
Rowland Gerard Kearns
Alice Sydall Daryl Fishwick
Mary Cooper Melissa Sinden