‘Private horrors’ details the experiences of plague, looking at narrative sources illustrating how people coped. There were always two stories to tell about plague. One is about heroes undeterred by contagion, the other about victims of harsh officialdom and of quarantine measures. The fullest accounts tried to combine the two and show men and women, physicians, churchmen, magistrates, and citizens trying to cooperate in impossible circumstances. Most poignant of all are expressions of the pain and loss created by one of plague’s cruellest features: the heavy mortality it inflicted on single families and households, as relatives and servants died one after the other.