Medicine & Disease

When Nostalgia Was Deadly

When it was first named in 17th-century Switzerland, nostalgia was a very real – and very dangerous – disease.

A History of Phantom Pain

For centuries, scientists and philosophers used phantom limbs to unravel the secrets of the human mind. While we know phantom pain exists, we still don’t know why.

Queen Victoria’s Stalker

Was the army captain in love with Queen Victoria a dangerous obsessive or an innocent man? His NSFW letters shocked but so did his treatment.

A Cure for Wellness

Eminent doctors and notorious charlatans vied for sick patients to treat in the cut-throat medical marketplace of Georgian England.

Opium for the Masses

In Republican China, amid the chaos of dynastic collapse and war, opium became a rare stable currency, yielding huge riches for those who knew how to work the system.

Care in the Community

Though often constrained by limited medical knowledge, 18th-century communities offered practical and emotional support to those experiencing mental distress.