The Arsenic Century: How Victorian Britain was Poisoned at Home, Work, and Play

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The murderer's favourite method of despatch. The suicide's friend. The lethal everyday presence in everything from candles to clothing, wallpaper to pints of beer. This is the alarming yet intriguing story of arsenic and the Victorians.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A compelling and entertaining read, with much tongue-in-cheek humor, but it is not for the fainthearted, as symptoms and distress are graphically described and illustrated. The narrative is a complex mix of quotation and the author s own words, which creates the feel of a Victorian melodrama. It is well researched and finely detailed with the history of legislative controls, medical advances, and the development of medical jurisprudence all successfully interwoven throughout the narrative. Although the text has wide popular appeal, it will also be of interest to scholars researching environmental, legal, and medical history." -- Journal of British Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199574704
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/28/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 1,274,363
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

James C. Whorton is Professor Emeritus of the History of Medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle, and has written numerous articles and books on the history of medicine and health, including Nature Cures. The History of Alternative Medicine in America, also published by Oxford University Press.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xx

1 'Such an Instrument of Death and Agony' 1

2 'A New Race of Poisoners' 24

3 A New Breed of Detectives 52

4 'The Chief Terror of Poisoners' 82

5 A Penn'orth of Poison 113

6 'Sugared Death' 139

7 'The Hue of Death, the Tint of the Grave' 169

8 Walls of Death 203

9 Physician-Assisted Poisoning 229

10 'A Very Wholesome Poison' 262

11 Poison in the Factory and on the Farm 294

12 'Dangers that Lie Wait in the Pint-Pot' 324

Abbreviations 361

Notes 365

Index 405

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