F.B. Smith

F.B. Smith is a member of the Institute of Advanced Studies at the Australian National University, and the author of Florence Nightingale: Reputation and power.

Illness at the Inn

F.B. Smith, 4 August 1983

This is a formidable contribution to the new history of health and ill-health. The new history is concerned with endemic disease and illness rather than with epidemics because, even in the short run, endemic illnesses kill, disable and make wretched many more human beings than the more spectacular epidemics with their abundance of bizarre incidents and accessible evidence. Rather than merely recount the course of an epidemic, the new historians try to encompass the environmental, social and political contexts of health and ill-health and, within these contexts, to explain the responses of patients, sanitarians, doctors and ratepayers. This programme looks straightforward but until now it has rarely been attempted.


Rosalind Mitchison, 31 August 1989

Anyone who has kept hens knows that these unattractive creatures make a point of brutality to any among them sick or weak. Some other ‘social’ animals share this antisocial tendency....

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Was she nice?

Thomas McKeown, 17 February 1983

A reassessment of Florence Nightingale and her achievements requires consideration of her public work, her personal character and the relation between the two, and F.B. Smith has interesting...

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