Updated: Aug 22
It is the year 1631 in Paris, and in the pale splendour of an early spring morning, the city of death awakes to the sound of a chorus of birdsong.
Already throughout broad valleys of the famine-stricken countryside, beside smooth-flowing rivers, below distant snow-capped alps, the first small buds of spring have appeared in defiance of the months of horror.
Along with the frozen bleakness of winter, another more sinister turn of events had occurred, with almost a million people dying of plague. With winds so fiercely cold, many perished in their tracks on doorsteps and along the cobblestone streets.