The Routledge History of Disease  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge History of Disease

ISBN 9780367868819
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
636 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $59.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

The Routledge History of Disease draws on innovative scholarship in the history of medicine to explore the challenges involved in writing about health and disease throughout the past and across the globe, presenting a varied range of case studies and perspectives on the patterns, technologies and narratives of disease that can be identified in the past and that continue to influence our present.

Organized thematically, chapters examine particular forms and conceptualizations of disease, covering subjects from leprosy in medieval Europe and cancer screening practices in twentieth-century USA to the ayurvedic tradition in ancient India and the pioneering studies of mental illness that took place in nineteenth-century Paris, as well as discussing the various sources and methods that can be used to understand the social and cultural contexts of disease.

Chapter 24 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 3.0 license. 

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of tables


List of contributors

1. Perspectives on the History of Disease

Mark Jackson

Part One: Models

2. Humours and Humoral Theory

Jim Hankinson

3. Models of Disease in Ayurvedic Medicine

Dominik Wujastyk

4. Religion, Magic and Medicine

Catherine Rider

5. Contagion

Michael Worboys

6. Emotions and Mental Illness

Elena Carrera

7. Deviance as Disease: The Medicalization of Sex and Crime

Jana Funke

Part Two: Patterns

8. Pandemics

Mark Harrison

9. Patterns of Animal Disease

Abigail Woods

10. Patterns of Plague in Late Medieval and Early-Modern Europe

Samuel Cohn

11. Symptoms of Empire: Cholera in Southeast Asia, 1820-1850

Robert Peckham

12. Disease, Geography, and the Market: Epidemics of Cholera in Tokyo in the Late Nineteenth Century

Akihito Suzuki

13. Histories and Narratives of Yellow Fever in Latin America

Monica Garcia

14. Race, Disease and Public Health: Perceptions of Māori Health

Katrina Ford

15. Re-writing the ‘English disease’: Migration, Ethnicity and ‘Tropical Rickets’

Roberta Bivins

16. Social Geographies of Sickness and Health in Contemporary Paris: Toward a Human Ecology of Mortality in the 2003 Heat Wave Disaster

Richard Keller

Part Three: Technologies

17. Disability and Prosthetics in Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-century England

David Turner

18. Disease, Rehabilitation and Pain

Julie Anderson

19. From Paraffin to PIP: Th

View More



Mark Jackson is Professor of the History of Medicine at the University of Exeter. His publications include The Age of Stress: Science and the Search for Stability (2013), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Medicine (ed., 2011), Asthma: The Biography (2009), Health and the Modern Home (ed., 2007), Allergy: The History of a Modern Malady (2006), Infanticide: Historical Perspectives on Child Murder and Concealment 1550-2000 (ed., 2002), The Borderland of Imbecility (2000), and Newborn Child Murder (1996).


"Encompassing an astonishing array of places, periods and pestilences, The Routledge History of Disease demonstrates indubitably how useful and fundamental disease is as a lens through which to view and understand human history. Essential reading for historians and health professionals alike."

Matthew Smith, University of Strathclyde, UK

"This book captures much of what has made the history of medicine one of the most innovative historical fields in recent decades. Its contributors respond to one of the key challenges posed to scholars in this field through case studies which are sweeping in chronology and geography and confidently demonstrate that medical knowledge is framed by the social, economic, political and cultural, and not merely biological factors."

Jonathan Reinarz, University of Birmingham, UK