Episode 120: The End of the World

In the mid-1300s, most of Europe was devastated by a massive plague known today as the Black Death. The disease killed about one-third of the population of England, and an even higher percentage of clerics and teachers who were trained in Latin and French. These disruptions permitted a younger generation who only spoke English to fill those positions. As a result, English replaced French in the grammar schools of England, and the stage was set for a revival of English learning and literature over the following decades.

Episode 119: The Road to War

The Hundred Years War is one of the most well-known conflicts of the Middle Ages.  The long, extended war introduced new weapons and new types of warfare, and it marked a transition from the traditional feudal state to the modern nation-state. The war also contributed to a rise in nationalism which led many Englishmen to regard the French language as the language of the enemy.  The war was one of many factors in the 14th century that led to the decline of French and the revival of English throughout England.