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Illness at the Inn

F.B. Smith, 4 August 1983

Endangered Lives: Public Health in Victorian Britain 
by Anthony Wohl.
Dent, 440 pp., £17.50, May 1983, 0 460 04252 1
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... 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 ...

Was she nice?

Thomas McKeown, 17 February 1983

Florence Nightingale: Reputation and Power 
by F.B. Smith.
Croom Helm, 216 pp., £12.95, March 1982, 0 7099 2314 7
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Edward Jenner: The Cheltenham Years 1795-1823 
by Paul Saunders.
University Press of New England, 469 pp., £15, May 1982, 0 87451 215 8
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... of her public work, her personal character and the relation between the two, and F.B. Smith has interesting things to say about all of this in his study of the Nightingale Papers and other documents. He recognises her impressive contributions, but not her unique place in the history of ideas related to medicine and public health in the last three ...


Rosalind Mitchison, 31 August 1989

Poverty and Welfare in Scotland 1890-1948 
by Ian Levitt.
Edinburgh, 241 pp., £30, November 1988, 0 85224 558 0
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The Retreat of Tuberculosis 1850-1950 
by F.B. Smith.
Croom Helm, 271 pp., £25, January 1988, 0 7099 3383 5
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Below the Magic Mountain: A Social History of Tuberculosis in 20th-century Britain 
by Linda Bryder.
Oxford, 298 pp., £30, April 1988, 9780198229476
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... cause of unemployment and pauperism, brutality was slower to yield. The two books here, by F.B. Smith and Linda Bryder, explore both the decline of the disease as a cause of death and the treatments offered or forced upon its unfortunate victims. There is a sinister relevance in these stories today, for popular fears and fantasies about the spread of ...

Lord Cardigan’s Cherry Pants

Ferdinand Mount: The benefits of the Crimean War, 20 May 2004

The Crimean War: The Truth behind the Myth 
by Clive Ponting.
Chatto, 379 pp., £20, March 2004, 0 7011 7390 4
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... tells it with verve and clarity. The Crimean War may lack the exuberance and wit of Cecil Woodham-Smith’s The Reason Why (1954), but instead it puts the war in its geopolitical context, reminding us not only that this was the largest and costliest conflict between 1815 and 1914 (the casualties slightly higher even than those of the American Civil War) but ...

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