This new, revised, second edition incorporates the findings of recent researches into hospital history, provincial medical history and the history of childbirth, and draws heavily upon new perspectives offered by women's studies in the social history of medicine. It also examines the impact of disease upon English people and their responses to it, both lay and medical, before the widespread availability and public provision of medical care. Changing relations between the public and the medical profession are a central theme. Dr Porter begins by sketching a picture of the threats posed by disease to population levels and social continuity from Tudor times to the Industrial Revolution and asks how effective medicine was in combating disease. He then examines the nature and composition of the medical profession itself. Seventeenth and eighteenth-century attitudes to doctors, disease and health and the extent to which people preferred self-help to the services of doctors are then considered. Finally the development of the medical profession from the eighteenth century and doctors' concern with their public image, as well as the growing commitment of the state to public health in the Victorian era, are assessed.
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