Cambridge Studies in Population, Economy and Society in Past Time: Contours of Death and Disease in Early Modern England Series Number 29

Cambridge Studies in Population, Economy and Society in Past Time: Contours of Death and Disease in Early Modern England Series Number 29

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This 1997 book provides a penetrating account of death and disease in England during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Using a wide range of sources for the south-east of England, the author highlights the tremendous variation in levels of mortality across geographical contours and across two centuries. She explores the epidemiological causes and consequences of these mortality variations, and offers the reader a fascinating insight into the way patients and practitioners perceived, understood and reacted to the multitude of fevers, poxes and plagues in past times. She examines, in particular, the significance of malaria in English demographic history, and provides a detailed account of the history of this once endemic disease. This broad-ranging and stimulating study will be of interest to historical demographers, medical historians, geographers and epidemiologists.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 670 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 37mm | 1,060g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 6 Halftones, unspecified; 71 Line drawings, unspecified
  • 0521404649
  • 9780521404648

Table of contents

List of plates; List of figures; List of tables; Acknowledgements; Introduction; Part I. Landscapes of the Past: 1. Airs, waters and places; 2. Regional and local settings; Part II. Contours of Mortality: 3. Geographical patterns of mortality; 4. Geographical rhythms of mortality; Part III. Environments and Movements of Disease: 5. The spectrum of death, disease and medical care; 6. Marshlands, mosquitoes and malaria; 7. Crises, fevers and poxes; Part IV. Contours of Death: Contours of Health: 8. The epidemiological landscapes of the past; Bibliography.
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Review quote

'... outstanding work of scholarship ... Dr Dobson must be congratulated for such a major innovative publication which has added very greatly to our knowledge of the medical history of the period.' The Local Historian 'Dobson's work is a model study which one very much hopes will in due course be emulated by similar studies of other regions: ... the book is an admirable addition to the 'Cambridge Studies of Population, Economy and Society in Past Time' series which fully maintains the exemplary standards of the Cambridge University Press.' The History Journal ' ... an exhaustive demonstration of how essential it is to bring the skills of historians, geographers and demographers together if we are to understand disease in the past. No one could read ... appreciation of the intricacies of the topic, and a heightened admiration for the author's achievement in unravelling them.' The English Historical Review "This book is nothing less than a magisterial work of prodigious scholarship. Dobson's astute and thorough methodology, comfort with interdisciplinary materials, and facile writing and quantitative displays are exemplary and provide scholars and students with a model for similar research." Sixteenth Century Journal "The amount of work Dobson undertook for this volume is phenomenal..." Isis "It is an impressive book, with evidence drawn from parish registers, diaries, journals, church records, news accounts, official surveys, tax records, census data, and many other sources. The thoroughness of Mary Dobson's research allowed her to draw a complete picture of death and disease over two centuries and to understand the relationship between the environment and health. Dobson's book is primarily a history of death and disease, but it is much more. It contains a wealth of information about demography, geography, and society. It will stand as a valuable resource for historians of the early modern era." Journal of Social History "...breaks new ground by promoting regional historical demography." Journal of Economic History "...a remarkable book that deserves an audience much broader than that of strictly historical demographers." American Historical Review "Dobson's study is an essential reference work not only for `historical demographers, medical historians, geographers, and epidemiologists,' but for all scholars of early modern English society and culture." The Historian "Contours of Death and Disease presents its extraordinary array of demographic and descriptive information in creative and compelling ways." Historian "...quantitative analysis are informed and enriched by a wide range of qualitative research..." Michael Zell, Journal of Modern History
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