It’s hard to be more historical and contemporary in these days of Covid jabs than this past month, when two important anniversaries in the history of immunisation against serious contagions have taken place. In April 1721 Lady Mary Wortley Montagu inoculated her daughter, Mary, with smallpox, but although the little girl survived, inoculation wasn’t widely […]
When Pen & Sword Books approached historian and novelist LJ Trafford about writing a book they described as ‘Horrible Histories for Grownups’, set in Ancient Rome, she accepted with pleasure. As readers of her books – and her Historia pieces – know, she’s an expert in the bizarre, ridiculous and downright disgusting details of Roman […]
Medicine in Elizabethan times was all too likely to kill the patient, author SW Perry tells Historia. But it wasn’t necessarily the doctors’ fault. Most of what they believed about curing diseases and healing injuries was based on theories which were spectacularly wrong.
Deborah Swift explores how the plague was understood and treated in 17th century London. Today, people have widely variable responses to disease and its cure. I don’t think I’m alone in having friends who show hypochondriac tendencies, who use ‘alternative’ or even quack medicines, or who are convinced that a random event, real or supernatural, has […]