Inspired by events that took place near Trier, Germany late in the sixteenth century, THERE CAME A CONTAGION tells the story of the Helgen family, three brothers respected in their village as skilled and resourceful farmers. With their widowed mother, their wives and children, they build a stable if difficult life together raising rye, barley and swine. But when the weather turns erratic and harvests begin to fail, a scapegoat is sought. Jews are banished from the territory as are the followers of Luther and Calvin. The Archbishop then discovers a pestilence of witches: people believed to have forsaken God and sworn allegiance to the Devil. Elsebett Helgen, a midwife and herbal healer, is twenty when the Archbishop’s men arrive in the village.

THERE CAME A CONTAGION was published on July 1, 2021 both in print format and as an eBook. The eBook is available wherever eBooks are sold. Any bookstore may order the print edition through Ingram.


Stephen Fox, novelist and historian:

“Doug Ingold’s novels are masterpieces of time, place and sensibility. The saga of the Helgen family, their friends, relatives and village, their joys and sorrows, is written with the intimacy of someone who you could easily imagine as having lived in 16th century rural Germany. It is a rich, deeply felt immersion.”

Gabrielle Gopinath, writer and critic:

“This is an engrossing book that touches on very contemporary themes, even as it transports readers to a remote historical past.”


Here is a link to the book on with several reviews:

A link to Gabrielle Gopinath’s review in the North Coast Journal:

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