Disease and Society in Premodern England
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Disease and Society in Premodern England examines the impact of infectious disease in England from the everyday to pandemics in the period c. 500-c.1600, with the major focus from the eleventh century onward.
Theilmann blends historical research, using a variety of primary sources, with an understanding of disease drawn from current scientific literature to enable a better understanding of how diseases affected society and why they were so difficult to combat in the premodern world. The volume provides a perspective on how society and medicine reacted to "new" diseases, something that remains an issue in the twenty-first century. The "new" diseases of the Late Middle Ages, such as plague, syphilis, and the English Sweat, are viewed as helping to lead to a change in how people viewed disease causation and treatment. In addition to the biology of disease and its relationship with environmental factors, the social, economic, political, religious, and artistic impacts of various diseases are also explored.
With discussions on a variety of diseases including leprosy, tuberculosis, malaria, measles, typhus, influenza, and smallpox, this volume is an essential resource for all students and scholars interested in the history of medicine and disease in premodern England.
Table of Contents
1. Finding the Impact of Disease in Premodern England 2. Human Impacts on Health in Premodern England 3. The Everyday Threat of Infectious Disease 4. Epidemic Disease and Its Arrival in England 5. The Second Plague Pandemic and the Demographic Crisis It Produced 6. Responses to the Plague 7. New Diseases at the Turn of the Sixteenth Century: The Mystery of the English Sweat 8. New Diseases at the Turn of the Sixteenth Century: The Certainty of Syphilis, the Great Pox 9. A New Era for Epidemic Disease 10. Disease and its Impact at the Beginning of a New Era
John Theilmann is Andrew Helmus Distinguished Professor of History and Politics at Converse University. He has published several articles and book chapters dealing with topics in medieval history and the history of diseases, and a book and several articles in political science dealing with congressional elections.