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The Germ of an Idea

Contagionism, Religion, and Society in Britain, 1660-1730

Authors: DeLacy, Margaret

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eBook $79.99
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  • ISBN 978-1-137-57529-6
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Hardcover $100.00
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  • ISBN 978-1-137-57527-2
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About this book

Contagionism is an old idea, but gained new life in Restoration Britain. Germ of an Idea considers British contagionism in its religious, social, political and professional context from the Great Plague of London to the adoption of smallpox inoculation. It shows how ideas about contagion changed medicine and the understanding of acute diseases.

About the authors

Margaret DeLacy is an independent scholar. She received her Ph.D. in British history from Princeton University, USA. She is the author of Prison Reform in Lancashire, 1700-1850: A Study in County Administration and several articles on British medical history.

Reviews

“The book’s importance to historians of this era and medical historians especially is self-evident, because it occupies a lacuna in the scholarship. … Although this book is written for scholarly audiences and densely packed, it is clear and accessible to general readers with avid interest in medical history. For Health Humanities professionals, this book underscores–with a twist–one of the primary lessons we hope to teach our medical students.” (Sandra G. Weems, MedHum Daily Dose, medhumdailydose.com, June, 2016)


“Was early eighteenth-century British medicine in a slump? DeLacy addresses this historical trope with subtle erudition and lively skepticism. Her story is as much about religion (spontaneous generation) and politics (quarantine), as it is about disease concepts and contagionism. Drawing on a wide array of sources, both public and private, including letters, she connects the works of Machamont Nedham and Benjamin Marten to famous figures, like Sloane and van Leewenhoek, of the master narrative. In the end, she writes about history itself, explaining how the “lost half century” came to be misplaced and deserves to be found.”-Jacalyn Duffin, Hannah Professor of the History of Medicine, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada
“Margaret DeLacy has been studying contagion’s contaminations and contours for decades and has now amassed an archive of its modern appearances well worth having. Her exhaustive accumulation and erudite analysis is destined to compel readers of diverse backgrounds to rethink their own limits of what they have been considering contagion’s Western history to have been.”-George Rousseau, Professor of History Emeritus, Oxford University, England

Table of contents (10 chapters)

  • Introduction: Medical Theory in Early Modern Europe

    DeLacy, Margaret

    Pages 1-15

  • Restoration Medicine and the Dissenters

    DeLacy, Margaret

    Pages 17-35

  • Populist Writing on Diseases in the Late Seventeenth Century

    DeLacy, Margaret

    Pages 37-48

  • The Search for Middle Ground: Disease Theory as Natural History

    DeLacy, Margaret

    Pages 49-65

  • Animalcules and Animals

    DeLacy, Margaret

    Pages 67-83

Buy this book

eBook $79.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-57529-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $100.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-57527-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Germ of an Idea
Book Subtitle
Contagionism, Religion, and Society in Britain, 1660-1730
Authors
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-57529-6
DOI
10.1007/978-1-137-57529-6
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-57527-2
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXI, 305
Topics