The First World War was the first ‘total war’. Its industrial weaponry damaged millions of men, and drove whole armies underground into dangerously unhealthy trenches. Many were killed. Others suffered from massive, life-threatening injuries; wound infections such as gas gangrene and tetanus; exposure to extremes of temperature; emotional trauma; and systemic disease. Tens of thousands of women volunteered to serve as nurses to alleviate their suffering. Some were fully-trained professionals; others had minimal preparation, and served as volunteer-nurses. Their motivations were a combination of compassion, patriotism, professional pride and a desire for engagement in the ‘great enterprise’ of war. The war led to an outpouring of war-memoirs, produced mostly by soldier-writers whose works came to be seen as a ‘literary canon’ of war-writing. But nurses had offered immediate and long-term care, life-saving expertise, and comfort to the war’s wounded, and their experiences had given them a perspective on industrial warfare which was unique. Until recently, their contributions, both to the saving of lives and to our understanding of warfare have remained largely hidden from view. ‘Nurse Writers of the Great War’ examines these nurses’ memoirs and explores the insights they offer into the nature of nursing and the impact of warfare. The book combines close biographical research with textual analysis, in order to offer an understanding of both nurses’ wartime experiences and the ways in which their lives and backgrounds contributed to the style and content of their writing.
for this work coincided with diagnoses of diabetes in my family, and as part of writing the manuscript I have been fortunate enough to interview actors involved with structures for managing the health service and its professionals. As a result of these experiences, I have come to appreciate the potential value of managerial technologies. 81 Practitioners themselves want reassurance that they are providing the most efficacious treatment for their patients, and – within the current capacities of therapeutics and the health services – it is certainly useful for
The hygienic utopia in Jules Verne, Camille Flammarion, and William
inferences. The term ‘microbe’ was first coined (in both French and English) when Verne was writing his novel, in 1878. Bégum refers instead to ‘germs’, a word that had long been used to denote the ‘seed’ of contagion.
Advocates of the new germ theory of disease in the 1870s adopted the term to refer to microscopic organisms capable of causing human or animal disease. The ‘germ theory of disease’ came into common use in medical literature around 1870 as a scientific shorthand for propositions associated with the work
Dr Williams’ Pink Pills for Pale People and the hybrid pathways of Chinese
At the same time, these gestures towards new values were countered in the advertisements by features more closely associated with the traditional. Linguistically, the Chinese used in these advertisements appears not to be in baihua (白話), or the vernacular register that was gaining traction in writing during this time. Instead, Classical Chinese phrasing and textual markers give a formal inflection to the language. The previously mentioned 1923 Shenbao advertisement described its wisdom as ‘coming from personal experience or those of friends’ (由其自己之經驗或由其友人之閱歷
Cancer, modernity, and decline in fin-de-siècle Britain
, and ‘nearly trebled’ in the United States. Writing in the fin de siècle , Hutchinson argued that cancer was among ‘our oldest, deadliest, and most-studied diseases’, while at the same time positioning it as an unintended consequence of Victorian civilisation and progress. He presciently posed cancer as ‘the riddle of the Sphinx for the twentieth century’.
It is a well-known and often rehashed trope that cancer today constitutes an unintended consequence of modernity. Or, as
is subject to the same law’, Mathews wrote, conjuring images of a speeding mechanised lifestyle.
And finally, writing in 1897 – the same year that Westerlund completed his suicide study – Emile Durkheim described ‘the hypercivilization which … refines nervous systems, making them excessively delicate … [and] more accessible both to violent irritation and to exaggerated depression’.
What we can gather from the aforementioned authors is that changes in the way
had rarely before been considered a medical issue, now it was increasingly associated with pain, disease, or even death. For the esteemed surgeon, Sir James Paget, writing in 1871, fatigue had ‘a larger share in the promotion or permission of disease than any other single causal condition you can name’.
By 1875, the physician George Poore was able to elevate fatigue from a mere predisposing factor in illness to a medical condition in its own right, which he further subdivided into its ‘general’ and ‘local’, ‘acute
's with a tremor in his left hand, dragging of left leg and dystonia of the left foot. As his symptoms increased, the patient started treatment with the dopamine agonist lisuride and L-DOPA at age 44. His symptoms significantly improved, and within the first month of treatment he began writing poetry for the first time in his life, completing ten poems in the first year of treatment. His poems achieved significant publishing success, and he won a prize in the annual contest of the International Association of Poets.
Balance, malleability and anthropology: historical contexts
particular conceptual opposition between ‘nature’ and ‘culture’. It is important to remember that the anthropological fieldwork method allows Malinowski to ventriloquise rather than reveal this experience of the man in the polyandrous community. It is Malinowski who has the (imperial) power of speech, argumentation, editing, publication and so on. It is his reading and writing of the situation that is privileged, even as he attempts to centre his subject. However, his metaphor of the ‘stamp’ here implies that there is some universal blank slate on which our personhood
Daktar Binodbihari Ray Kabiraj and the metaphorics of the
nineteenth-century Ayurvedic body
Projit Bihari Mukharji
we cannot be sure of this). We next hear of him in 1908 when he published a lengthy book on Ayurveda written entirely in verse titled Podyo Ayurbbed Siksha (‘Medical Educational Verses’). Also interestingly, while in 1890 he had described himself simply as a Daktar , that is, the vernacularised form of address for a Western-style physician, in 1908 he styled himself as ‘Daktar Binodbihari Ray Kabiraj’ (Kabiraj being the designation used to refer to Ayurvedic physicians).
In 1908, the same year that he published his last medical writing, Ray