Cholera: The Victorian Plague

Cholera: The Victorian Plague

by Amanda J Thomas

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“[A] fusion of science, social, and medical history . . . fascinating . . . the understanding of and responses to cholera are covered in detail and with sensitivity” —The Victorian Web
Discover the story of the disease that devastated the Victorian population, and brought about major changes in sanitation. Drawing on the latest scientific research and a wealth of archival material, Amanda J. Thomas uses first-hand accounts, blending personal stories with an overview of the history of the disease and its devastating after-effects on British society. This fascinating history of a catastrophic disease uncovers forgotten stories from each of the major cholera outbreaks in 1831–2, 1848–9, 1853–4 and 1866.
Amanda J. Thomas reveals that Victorian theories about the disease were often closer to the truth than we might assume, among them the belief that cholera was spread by miasma, or foul air.
“The book acts as a complete overview of cholera in Victorian Britain, taking a new, accessible approach to a topic previously covered predominately by academic researchers.” —Harpenden History

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781473875999
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Limited
Publication date: 09/21/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 42,608
File size: 23 MB
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About the Author

Amanda Thomas is a professional genealogist and author, as well as a visiting lecturer in Social History at Morley College, London. She has previously worked in journalism and PR, for television companies including The Walt Disney Company. Amanda edits the journal, The Clock Tower, for Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre since 2006 and published The Lambeth Cholera Outbreak of 1848-1849. In 2012, Amanda was approached by Wall to Wall Productions to advise on Series Ten of the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are? She will also take part in the BBC4 documentary series The Flying Archaeologist (broadcast in April and May 2013), with Time Team archaeologist Ben Robinson.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 7

Preface 8

Introduction 9

Chapter 1 An Ancient Disease: The history and epidemiology of cholera 15

Chapter 2 Brandy is the Cure: The 1831-2 cholera outbreak 31

Chapter 3 The Wretched State of the Poor: The influence of politics and philosophy on the living and sanitary conditions of the poor 60

Chapter 4 Cholera and Tooting's Pauper Paradise: Workhouse conditions and how cholera devastated a children's institution 79

Chapter 5 Births, Marriages and Deaths: The General Register Office and the work of William Farr 99

Chapter 6 The Graveyards Overflow: The effect of population growth and cholera on traditional burial practices 113

Chapter 7 Dr John Snow and the Broad Street Pump: The emerging theory that cholera is a waterborne disease and the modern myth of Dr John Snow 129

Chapter 8 The Stink of Cholera: The improvement of London's sewage system and Sir Joseph Bazalgette 162

Chapter 9 Cholera Returns: The 1866 East End cholera outbreak and the Princess Alice disaster 173

Chapter 10 A Modern Disease: Genetics, vaccines and new theories 191

Notes 204

Bibliography 229


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