The Great Plague of 1665 was a cataclysmic event that changed the course of history. With its devastating death toll, the plague left Londoners in a state of fear and despair. The documentary, The Great Plague, offers an in-depth look into this dark episode through the use of letters, diary entries, and newly unearthed documents to create a vivid portrait of terror.
At the time of The Great Plague, London’s population had skyrocketed to over half a million people—an overcrowding that put immense strain on the city’s quality of life. Sewage was rampant, and poverty ran rampant alongside animals and vermin lurking in every corner. Those living at or near the bottom rung of society were often hardest hit by sickness and disease.
Cock and Key Alley was one such parish that suffered greatly during the plague; this area was particularly overcrowded and mortality rates soared during this period. Though it all began with just one sign outside their community in April 1665, it quickly spread throughout the parish despite efforts to contain it.
The documentary follows several families who were struggling to survive under these dire conditions—people who turned towards religious hysteria in search for comfort as well as those brave enough to still care for the sick even at risk to themselves. We hear stories from both sides: those who stayed to help others while also experiencing personal loss and those wealthy elite members of society who chose to flee instead of face what was happening around them. This heartbreaking journey is further illustrated with powerful reenactments that capture the true horror and chaos experienced by Londoners during this time.
If you’re looking for an illuminating glimpse into history with its own unique perspective on tragedy and resilience then look no further than The Great Plague documentary for an unforgettable experience you won’t soon forget!