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Core Reading List

Lucinda McCray Beier, For Their Own Good: The Transformation of English Working-Class Health Culture, 1880–1970 (Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 2008).

Lucy Bland and Lesley A. Hall, ‘Eugenics in Britain: The View from the Metropole’, in Alison Bashford and Phillipa Levine (eds), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 213–27. e-book

Hera Cook, The Long Sexual Revolution: English Women, Sex, and Contraception, 1800-1975 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004). e-book

Roger Cooter and John Pickstone (eds), Medicine in the Twentieth Century (Amsterdam, etc.: Harwood, 2000).

Anna Davin, ‘Imperialism and Motherhood’, History Workshop Journal, 5 (1978), 9–66. e-resource JISC

Anna Davin, Growing Up Poor: Home, School and Street in London 1870–1914 (London: Rivers Oram Press, 1996).

Angela Davis, Modern Motherhood: Women and Family in England, 1945-2000 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2012). e-book

Deborah Dwork, War is Good for Babies and Other Young Children: A History of the Infant and Child Welfare Movement in England 1898–1918 (London: Tavistock, 1987).

Kate Fisher, Birth Control, Sex and Marriage in Britain, 1918-1960 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006). e-book

Marijke Gijswijt-Hofstra and Hilary Marland (eds.), Cultures of Child Health in Britain and the Netherlands in the Twentieth Century (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2003).

Germaine Greer, The Change: Women, Ageing and the Menopause (Penguin edn, 1992).

Ali Haggett, Desperate Housewives, Neurosis and the Domestic Environment, 1945-1970 (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2012). e-book

Lesley Hall, Hidden Anxieties: Male Sexuality, 1900-1950 (Cambridge: Polity, 1991).

Anne Hardy, The Epidemic Streets: Infectious Disease and the Rise of Preventive Medicine, 1856-1900 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993). e-book

Bernard Harris, The Health of the Schoolchild: A History of the School Medical Service in England and Wales (Buckingham: Open University Press, 1985).

Mark Jackson (ed.), Health and the Modern Home (London and New York: Routledge, 2007). ​e-book

Mark Jackson (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Medicine (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011). e-book

Greta Jones, Social Hygiene in Twentieth-Century Britain (London: Croom Helm, 1986).

Helen Jones, Health and Society in Twentieth-Century Britain (London: Longman, 1994).

Joan Lane, A Social History of Medicine: Health, Healing and Disease in England, 1750-1950 (London and New York: Routledge, 2001).

Christopher Lawrence, Medicine in the Making of Modern Britain 1700–1920 (London and New York: Routledge, 1994).

Nicky Leap and Billie Hunter, The Midwife’s Tale: An Oral History from Handywoman to Professional Midwife (London: Scarlett Press, 1993).

Jane Lewis, The Politics of Motherhood: Child and Maternal Welfare in England 1900–1939 (London: Croom Helm, 1980).

Jane Lewis, ‘Providers, “Consumers”, the State and the Delivery of Health-Care Services in Twentieth-Century Britain’, in Andrew Wear (ed.), Medicine in Society: Historical Essays (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992), ch. 12, 317–46. scanned article

Vicky Long, The Rise and Fall of the Healthy Factory: The Politics of Industrial Health in Britain, 1914–60 (Houndmills: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2011). e-book

Carolyn Malone, Women’s Bodies and Dangerous Trades in England, 1880–1914 (Woodbridge, Boydell, 2003).

Lara Marks, Sexual Chemistry: A History of the Contraceptive Pill (New Haven, NJ: Yale University Press, 2001).

Hilary Marland, Health and Girlhood in Britain, 1874-1920 (Houndmills: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013). ​e-book

Jill Matthews, ‘They had Such a Lot of Fun: The Women’s League of Health and Beauty Between the Wars’, History Workshop Journal, 30 (1990), 22–54. e-journal JISC

Pauline M.H Mazumdar, Eugenics, Human Genetics and Human Failings: The Eugenics Society, its Sources and its Critics in Britain (London: Routledge, 1992).

Frank Mort, Dangerous Sexualities: Medico-Moral Politics in England since 1830 (London: Routledge, 1987, 2000).

Ann Oakley, The Captured Womb: A History of the Medicine Care of Pregnant Women (Oxford: Basil Blackwood, 1984).

F.B. Smith, The People's Health 1830-1910 (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1979, 1990).

Julie-Marie Strange, ‘The Assault on Ignorance: Teaching Menstrual Etiquette in England, c.1920s to 1960s’, Social History of Medicine, 14 (2001), 247–65. e-resource Oxford journals

Julie-Marie Strange, Death, Grief and Poverty in Britain, 1870-1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).

Pat Thane, Old Age in English History: Past Experiences, Present Issues (Oxford University Press, 2000).

Keir Waddington, An Introduction to the Social History of Medicine: Europe since 1500 (Houndmills: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2011).

John Welshman,From Transmitted Deprivation to Social Exclusion: Policy, Poverty and Parenting (Bristol: The Policy Press, 2012).

On-line Resources

Wellcome Library (for access to Wellcome catalogue and all holdings, Wellcome images and London's Pulse (MOsH reports for London). The Wellcome Library also has many e-books and digitlised sources e.g. the journal Public Health

Via Warwick University Library

Medical journals (e-journals): includes Lancet, British Medical Journal (BMJ) ( via JSTOR), Journal of Mental Science and many others

Newspapers - include The Times and many other large circulation newspapers though the years covered vary greatly.

Databases - include British Periodicals online (huge range of periodical literature, general interest journals with numerous articles on health and medicine); Nineteenth-Century British Library Newspapers (collection of provincial newspapers); Dictionary of National Biography (for information on 'famous' figures e.g. Edwin Chadwick, Henry Maudsley, George Newman); Great War Archive (including materials on health); House of Commons Parliamentary Papers - a useful guide to this source is to be found on the Centre for the History of Medicine website (Warwick)

Check out History Databases for more leads (via Library)

Modern Records Centre at Warwick - archive which contains rich holdings on occupational health (TUC and other Union Archives), National Asylum Workers Union, YWCA archive (girls' health), Association of Domestic Science Workers archive, Social Work archive, and much more.

Open Access (i.e. no need to go via University Library)

Eugenics Review is available electronically at (this is harder to search, but a good place to look up specific articles)

American Libraries: A brilliant resource to find 19th- and 20th-century books and articles (full text)

Victorian Web: direct access to a rich range of medical and literary resources on health matters, including public health (essays and extracts)

The National Archives: gives a massive amount of data on archival collections throughout England and Wales, access to resources and other databases

Modern Motherhood


The Rise and Fall of the Healthy Factory


Health and Girlhood in Britain