The Tragedy of Childbed Fever



Childbed fever was by the far the most common cause of deaths associated with childbirth up to the Second World War throughout Britain and Europe. Otherwise known as puerperal fever, it was an infection which followed childbirth and caused thousands of miserable and agonising deaths every year. This book provides the first comprehensive account of this tragic disease from its recognition in the eighteenth century up to the second half of the twentieth century. Examining this within a broad…

Dread: How Fear and Fantasy Have Fueled Epidemics from the Black Death to A…


Deaths from epidemic disease are rare in the developed world, yet in our technically and medically advanced society, an ever-present risk of disease has created an industry out of fear.

As Philip Alcabes persuasively argues in Dread, our anxieties about epidemics often stray from the facts on the ground. In a fascinating exploration of the social and cultural history of epidemics, Alcabes delivers a different narrative of disease—one that requires that we reexamine our choice of enemies,…