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Medicine

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EDITOR'S CHOICE

Ian Scott traces the hundred-year history of heroin, from cough medicine to underworld narcotic.

John Henderson challenges received ideas on how medieval and early modern societies dealt with perils such as plague.

Volume: 64 Issue: 4 2014

The notorious malady of the 18th century is on the increase in the UK.

Volume: 64 Issue: 4 2014

Medicine in early modern Britain is commonly perceived as crude and ineffective. But for all its shortcomings, says Alun Withey, there was no shortage of medical practitioners.

Volume: 63 Issue: 10 2013

Jerome Carson and Elizabeth Wakely explore the mental illnesses suffered by some famous historical figures and consider the impact on their lives and achievements.

Volume: 63 Issue: 2 2013

The great humanitarian organisation was founded on October 29th, 1863.

Volume: 63 Issue: 10 2013

In recent years the reputation of Mary Seacole as a pioneering nurse of the Crimean War has been elevated far beyond the bounds of her own ambition. Meanwhile that of Florence Nightingale has taken an undeserved knocking, as Lynn McDonald explains.

Volume: 62 Issue: 9 2012

Ian Bradley looks at the life of Vincent Priessnitz, pioneer of hydrotherapy, whose water cures gained advocates throughout 19th-century Europe and beyond and are still popular today.

Volume: 62 Issue: 1 2012

Sarah Wise admires an assessment of lunacy in 19th-century London.

Volume: 62 Issue: 12 2012

In the interests of historical research Lucy Worsley adopted the dental hygiene habits of previous centuries.

Volume: 61 Issue: 5 2011

A monarch’s divine ability to cure scrofula was an established ritual when James I came to the English throne in 1603. Initially sceptical of the Catholic characteristics of the ceremony, the king found ways to ‘Protestantise’ it and to reflect his own hands-on approach to kingship, writes Stephen Brogan.

Volume: 61 Issue: 2 2011

Richard Lansdown introduces Hugh Welch Diamond, one of the fathers of medical photography, whose images of the insane both reflected and challenged prevailing ideas about visually recording insanity.

Volume: 61 Issue: 9 2011

The  trade in human organs has given rise to many myths. We should look to its history, argues Richard Sugg, if we are to comprehend its reality.

Volume: 61 Issue: 5 2011

A century after the execution of Dr Crippen for the murder of his wife, Fraser Joyce argues that, in cases hingeing on identification, histories of forensic medicine need to consider the roles played by the public as well as by experts.

Volume: 60 Issue: 11 2010

Britain has had a long and sometimes problematic relationship with alcohol. James Nicholls looks back over five centuries to examine the many, often unsuccessful, attempts to reform the nation’s drinking habits.

Volume: 60 Issue: 1 2010

Richard Willis charts how order was brought to the medical profession by the foundation of the General Medical Council 150 years ago.

Volume: 59 Issue: 1 2009

Military concerns drove the development of nuclear weapons. But a by-product of this huge deployment of scientific resources by the US and the UK was an upsurge in biological research leading to a new age of regenerative medicine. Alison Kraft discusses the history of stem cell biology.

Volume: 59 Issue: 11 2009

The natural philosopher and scientist Robert Boyle was revered in his time for his pioneering enquiry into a wide range of natural phenomena.Yet within half a century of his death he was almost forgotten, overshadowed by his contemporary Isaac Newton. Michael Hunter explains why.

Volume: 59 Issue: 11 2009

Recent research by medical scientists and historians suggests that George III had manic depression rather than porphyria. Scholars will need to take a fresh look at his reign, writes Timothy Peters.

Volume: 59 Issue 9 2009

Janet Copeland introduces one of the most important feminist figures in twentieth-century history.

Issue: 63 2009

Wendy Moore catches a rare glimpse of a medical collection that includes tonsil guillotines and implements for trepanning.

Volume: 59 Issue: 5 2009

Paddy Hartley describes how an interest in the treatment of facial injuries in the First World War led him to develop a new form of sculpture.

Volume: 58 Issue: 3 2008

Anthea Gerrie explores a remarkable excavation, a Roman surgeon’s house in Rimini.

Volume: 58 Issue: 2 2008

Robert Bud says we should remember the Asian flu epidemic of 1957 as a turning point in the history of antibiotics.

Volume: 57 Issue: 1 2007

Neil Pemberton and Michael Worboys tell the fascinating story of how rabies – a disease that still kills thousands worldwide every year – was eradicated from Britain.

Volume: 57 Issue: 9 2007

In the late 18th century, a French invasion force marched into Portugal. Napoleon was insisting that Portugal must close its ports to British shipping. When it failed to comply, the invading army was given orders to march on Lisbon and seize the royal family. The Queen and her family fled to Brazil, and by this time, Maria I of Portugal had been insane for more than fifteen years. 

Volume: 57 Issue: 12 2007

As Britain gets used to the ban on smoking in public spaces, Virginia Berridge looks at the way attitudes to public health have changed in the last fifty years, particularly among the medical profession.

Volume: 57 Issue: 8 2007

Richard Cavendish marks the funeral of one of medicine's most eminent pioneers, on March 18th, 1955.

Volume: 55 Issue: 3 2005

Yehuda Koren tells one family’s remarkable story of surviving Auschwitz.

Volume: 55 Issue: 2 2005

Richard Cavendish remembers the events of December 12th, 1905.

Volume: 55 Issue: 12 2005

Ole J. Benedictow describes how he calculated that the Black Death killed 50 million people in the 14th century, or 60 per cent of Europe’s entire population.

Volume: 55 Issue: 3 2005

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