1st Edition

Britain and the 1918-19 Influenza Pandemic A Dark Epilogue

By Niall Johnson Copyright 2006
    296 Pages
    by Routledge

    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    Between August 1918 and March 1919 a flu pandemic spread across the globe and in just under a year 40 million people had died from the virus worldwide. This is the first book to provide a total history and seriously analyze the British experiences during that time.

    The book provides the most up-to-date tally of the pandemic’s impact, including the vast mortality, as well as questioning the apparent origins of the pandemic. A ‘total’ history, this book ranges from the spread of the 1918–1919 pandemic, to the basic biology of influenza, and how epidemics and pandemics are possible, to consider the demographic, social, economic and political impacts of such a massive pandemic, including the cultural dimensions of naming, blame, metaphors, memory, the media, art and literature.

    An inter-disciplinary study, it stretches from history and geography through to medicine in order to convey the full magnitude of the first global medical ‘disaster’ of the twentieth century, and looks ahead to possible pandemics of the future.

    Niall Johnson brings an impressive scholarly eye on this fascinating and highly relevant topic making this essential reading for historians and those with an interest in British and medical history.

    1. Introduction to an Unregarded Killer  2. History of Influenza – A Long History of Affliction  3. Geographies of Flu  4. The Human Cost  5. Impacts and Responses  6. Cultural Dimensions  7. Repercussions  8. Possible Futures  Notes  Bibliography  Index


    Niall Johnson is a respected authority on the 1918–19 influenza pandemic. In addition to writing his PhD (Cambridge) on the British experience of the pandemic he has published and presented numerous research papers on this topic, including articles in leading medical, history and history of medicine journals, and has acted as expert consultant to Granada Media for a Channel Four documentary on the pandemic.