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Health and Disease

Key Texts

Seminar Questions

  • In what ways did industrialisation affect the health of city dweller?
  • How effective were public health reforms in the Victorian City?
  • How important was Chadwick's report/Snow's research and what do they reveal about Victorian attitudes?
  • How did understandings of disease causation alter during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries?

Further Reading

Michelle Allen, ‘From cesspool to sewer: sanitary reform and the rhetoric of resistance, 1848-1880’, Victorian Literature and Culture, 2002

P. Brimblecombe, The Big Smoke: A History of Air Pollution in London since Medieval Times

W. F. Bynum and Roy Porter (eds), Living and Dying in London

M. Dobson, ‘Epidemics and the geography of disease’, in I. Loudon (ed.), Western Medicine

M. Durey, The Return of the Plague: British Society and the Cholera, 1831-1832

R. J. Evans, ‘Epidemics and Revolutions: Cholera in Nineteenth Century Europe’, Past and Present, 120 (1988)

S. E. Finer, The Life and Times of Sir Edwin Chadwick

Geoffrey Gill, ‘Public health and public paranoia: the 1888 typhoid outbreak in Wallasey’, Local Historian, 2005

S Halliday, The Great Stink of London: Sir Joseph Bazalgaette and the cleansing of the Victorian metropolis

Christopher Hamlin, Public Health and Social Justice in the Age of Chadwick

Christopher Hamlin, ‘Providence and putrefaction: Victorian sanitarians and the natural theology of health and disease’, Victorian Studies, 1984-5

Christopher Hamlin, 'Edwin Chadwick, "mutton medicine," and the fever question', Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 70 (1996)

Christopher Hamlin, 'Muddling in Bumbledon: on the enormity of large sanitary improvements in four British towns', Victorian Studies, 1988

Anne Hardy, Health and Medicine in Britain since 1860

Anne Hardy, The Epidemic Streets: Infectious Disease and the Rise of Preventive Medicine 1856-1900

D.R. Hopkins, The Greatest Killer: Smallpox in History

Elizabeth Hurren, ‘Poor law versus public health: diphtheria, sanitary reform and the crusade against outdoor relief, 1870-1900’, Social History of Medicine, 2005

Priti Joshi, ‘Edwin Chadwick’s self-fashioning: professionalism, masculinity, and the Victorian Poor’, Victorian Literature and Culture, 2004

Brian Lancaster, ‘The Croydon case: Chadwick’s model town under siege’, Local Historian, 2004

R A Lewis, Edwin Chadwick and the Public Health Movement, 1832-1854

Robert Millward, 'Urban government, finance and public health in Victorian Britain', in R. J. Morris and Richard Trainor (eds), Urban governance

R. J. Morris, Cholera 1832: The Social Response to an Epidemic

Margaret Pelling, Cholera, Fever and English Medicine, 1825-1865

Dorothy Porter (ed.), The History of Public health and the Modern State

Roy Porter, Disease, Medicine and Society in England, 1550-1860

G Rosen, A History of Public Health

Charles Rosenberg, Explaining Epidemics

Charles Rosenberg, 'Cholera in Ninteenth-Century Europe: A Tool for Social and Economic Analysis', Comparative Studies in Society and History, 8 (1966)

F. B. Smith, The People’s Health 1830-1910

David Sunderland, ‘Disgusting to the imagination and destructive of health: the metropolitan supply of water, 1820-52’, Urban History, 2003

S. J. Watts, Epidemics and History: Disease, Power and Imperialism

Andrew Wohl, Endangered Lives: Public Health in Victorian Britain

R. Woods and J. Woodward (eds), Urban Disease and Mortality

Robert Woods and Nicola Shelton, An Atlas of Victorian Mortality

John Snow's map, 1854