Medicine & Disease
The Civil Wars of the 17th century prompted pioneering medical care and welfare, provided by the state not just for soldiers but for the widows and children they left behind, as Eric Gruber von Arni and Andrew Hopper show.
Epidemics spread mistrust, as communities seek to blame their plight on outsiders or those at the margins of society. Yet the historical record reveals that outbreaks are more likely to bring people together than force them apart.
Men’s awkwardness when talking about their bodies, especially sexual health, has changed little since the 17th century. Jennifer Evans looks into the private worries of men and their doctors.
‘Shell shock’ is associated in particular with the First World War. Stuart M. Archer recounts the often brutal treatment meted out to sufferers of the condition and looks at how use of the term fell into disrepute.