interview Nendö people as part of their investigation into the Pacific Islands labour trade, which Goodenough considered a modern form of slavery. In an echo of the death of Captain James Cook almost one hundred years before, the men came under attack while fleeing the beach for the relative safety of the Pearl 's whaleboats, pursued by islanders who had long since grown wary of British intrusion. Diligently recorded by the Pearl 's surgeon, Adam Brunton Messer, the symptoms suffered by at least three of the wounded sailors were undoubtedly those of tetanus. Though the
In December 1811, Ernst Horn, a Professor at the Berlin Charité hospital was sued over the death of one of his patients. The twenty-one-year-old Louise Thiele had been hospitalised in August 1811 and diagnosed with hysteria. The doctor recommended the full variety of applications commonly prescribed at the time. Cold water baths were applied with doses of a hundred buckets of cold water. The patient was put in a rotating bed, an apparatus inspired by the English swing machine, restrained and rotated with a cadence of 120 times per minute
Cancer, modernity, and decline in fin-de-siècle Britain
In 1899, the Contemporary Review published an article by the English physician Woods Hutchinson (1862–1930) entitled ‘The cancer problem: or, treason in the republic of the body’.
In this article, thick with metaphorical allusions and polemic, Hutchinson condensed to thirteen pages the diverse and fraught anxieties that attended cancer in late nineteenth-century Britain. He wrote about how, over the past thirty years, the ‘deaths per thousand living from this malady’ had doubled in England
The hygienic utopia in Jules Verne, Camille Flammarion, and William
of the soul, the earth's entire history would be doomed to nothingness and become ‘a disappointing absurdity, more miserable and more senseless than the excrement of an earthworm’.
A later tale involves the discovery of a corpse in a pile of manure. Excrement is thus posited as a worthless by-product or is associated with death.
Beyond the elimination of excrement from their lives, the Martians are also explicitly free from decay or disease: ‘the heavy burdens of the earth and the suffering of
was calling for more systematic and in-depth statistical inquiries to supplement the existing mortality statistics, the likes of which, including causes of death, had been collected in Finland since the 1740s. In fact, the Finnish and Swedish birth and mortality statistics are the oldest continuously collected population statistics in the world.
Gathered under the heading of ‘moral statistics’, the series of numbers representing crimes, suicide, and other forms of deviance consolidated a new way of regarding human
noted in Chapter 1, the NHS retained this exclusionary mentality so far as bed admission was concerned.
4 P. Jasen, ‘Breast cancer and the language of risk, 1750–1950’, Social History of Medicine , 15:1 (2002), 17–43, esp. pp. 21–35; A. Mackintosh, ‘The patent medicines industry in late Georgian England: a respectable alternative to both regular medicine and irregular practice’, Social History of Medicine , 30:1 (2017), 22–47, esp. 29–31. On the use and limitations of death certification for such assessments: A. Hardy, ‘“Death is the cure of
Melissa Dickson, Emilie Taylor-Brown and Sally Shuttleworth
demonstrates, made around the world for other conditions such as fatigue, cancer, suicide, and general cultural or intellectual degeneration. Analogous concerns about the interaction between the environment and individual and social well-being also emerged in movements for self-improvement and self-care, public health and sanitation, and the ‘rescue’ and reform of the poor and disabled. These preoccupations influenced public policies, with numerous commissions and scientific inquiries into, for example, incidences of suicide and other causes of death amongst expanding urban
Health as moral economy in the long nineteenth century
sources. For usually these concentrate either on immediate causes of death or on incidence of particular diseases. They obscure integrative conditions manifest in dissatisfaction or dysfunction. And leaving aside categories, the high incidence of infections will have masked stress-related conditions that would become visible only after an epidemiologic transition made so-called ‘lifestyle-related’ causes of death more prominent.
‘And all must have prizes
In the prologue to his 1892 short story, Number Twenty , the English satirist Henry Duff Traill personifies the nineteenth century as an exhausted, dying old man. Opening at 11.30 p.m. on 31 December 1900, Traill's story finds Old Seekleham – an ungainly pun on the Latin saeculum (century) – with just half an hour to live. Far from mourning his impending death, however, Seekleham greets it with a weary resignation, even relief: ‘It was not that he had attained to a greater age than his ancestors, who, in fact, had all been centenarians like
The ‘pathology’ of childhood in late nineteenth-century London
provide for their children. Those parents unable to do so upset the social order.
In a different case, Lucy F. was taken into the Society's St Chads home in 1889 at the age of fourteen. The catalyst for her admission was the death of her mother and ‘her father [wa]s a good for nothing, ignorant man, with no idea of looking after his children, though he would not wilfully injure them’.
We are thus provided with a picture of working-class parenting that did not comply with middle-class expectations