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Contours of Death and Disease in Early Modern England by Mary J. (University of Oxford) Dobson


Contours of Death and Disease in Early Modern England by Mary J. (University of Oxford) Dobson

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.


'... 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

About the Author

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Book Info

Publication date

20th November 2003


Mary J. (University of Oxford) Dobson

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Cambridge University Press


672 pages


History of medicine
Epidemiology & medical statistics
Social & cultural history



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