Tag Archives: new books

New Books: Medical Students and Left-Handers!

Our new books received in the last month include studies on medical education in Ireland, diagnostic practices in Victorian asylums, medical technology and public health in former Soviet regions, malaria in 19th-century India, and the history of left-handedness.

See our full range of new titles on LibraryThing: https://www.librarything.com/catalog/WelLibOxford/yourlibrary

Laura Kelly, Irish medical education and student culture, c.1850-1950 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2017)
‘The first comprehensive history of medical student culture and medical education in Ireland’ over this hundred-year period. Using sources including periodicals, literary works, administrative records, and first-hand written and spoken accounts, Laura Kelly looks at the academic and extra-curricular experiences of students, how these experiences shaped their identities as medical professionals, and how they were perceived within their wider communities. The book also highlights divisions of religion, class and gender within this medical sphere.

Olga Zvonareva, Evgeniya Popova & Klasien Horstman (eds.), Health, technologies, and politics in post-Soviet settings: navigating uncertainties (New York, NY: Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2017)
The introduction to this edited volume begins with a trend recognised by studies of science and technology; politics and healthcare mutually shape each other, and instead of bringing certainty through the solutions they offer, new medical technologies often stimulate ‘the emergence of new questions and dilemmas’ (p. 3). This uncertainty is multiplied when these technologies are situated in post-Soviet regions, which have their own unique political and social uncertainties. The book’s approach is to encourage ‘critical learning’ by bringing together the disciplines of science and technology studies, and post-socialism studies. Chapters include case studies on egg donation, radiation science, and the development of new drugs.

Jennifer Wallis, Investigating the body in the Victorian asylum (New York, NY: Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2017)
A study which links the histories of medicine, psychiatry, science and the body, this book uncovers the common practice of late nineteenth-century doctors to seek bodily evidence for the causes and symptoms of mental illnesses, using both clinical tests on patients and postmortem dissections. Jennifer Wallis uses the West Riding Asylum in Yorkshire as her main case study. Taking an ‘anatomical approach that aims to mirror contemporary processes of investigation’ (p. 14), the chapters cover various body parts in turn: skin, muscle, bone, brain and fluids.

Howard I. Kushner, On the other hand : left hand, right brain, mental illness, and history (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017)
An exploration of the ‘medical and cultural history of left-handedness’. Alongside his own experiences as a left-hander, Kushner considers the relationships, medically or socially constructed, between handedness, linguistics, taboo, disability and social tolerance. Chapters include: the reasons that have been posited for left-hand preference, the ways in which different cultures measure and judge handedness, and the psychological stereotyping of left-handers as criminals or creative geniuses.

Rohan Deb Roy, Malarial subjects : empire, medicine and nonhumans in British India, 1820-1909 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017)
In this study which links the history of medicine and science with empire and postcolonial studies, Rohan Deb Roy explores ‘the makings and persistence of malaria as an enduring diagnostic category’ (p.3) of disease and cure. In the long nineteenth century this category was not a straightforward medical diagnosis, but linked together various illnesses, plants, insects and other malarial objects which became, in the context of imperial rule, ‘objects of natural knowledge and social control’. Using British government and Bengali sources, chapters explore the growing of cinchona plants, the manufacture of quinine, and the making of the ‘Burdwan Fever’ epidemic.




New Books: January 2018

Recent arrivals at the Wellcome Unit Library: new books on surgery, syphilis, pregnancy, medical experimentation and global medicine! To consult any of our collections, contact us to arrange your visit to the library.

Keep up with all our new books via LibraryThing: https://www.librarything.com/catalog/WelLibOxford/yourlibrary



 Lindsey Fitzharris, The butchering art : Joseph Lister’s quest to transform the grisly world of Victorian medicine (London : Allen Lane, 2017)
‘The gripping story of how Joseph Lister’s antiseptic method changed medicine forever’.
Medical schools, operating theatres, hospitals, mortuaries and graveyards provide the setting for Lindsey Fitzharris’s account of Lister’s pioneering discoveries. Fitzharris concentrates on a quarter-century of dramatic change in the practice of surgery, from 1850-1875. Lister’s work on germs and infection in this period brought together science and medicine in a world where recovery from medical operations was often a matter of luck.

Monika Pietrzak-Franger, Syphilis in victorian literature and culture : medicine, knowledge and the spectacle of Victorian invisibility (New York, NY : Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2017)
Described as ‘the first large-scale interdisciplinary study of syphilis in late Victorian Britain’, Monika Pietrzak-Franger’s book explores the disease in medical, social, political and cultural contexts, reflecting on how images and discussions of syphilis played a role in constructing individual and collective identities. The study highlights the dichotomy of visibility and invisibility surrounding syphilis: as an invisible virus which could produce highly visible symptoms, a disease which was highly debated in medical circles but difficult to diagnose and treat, and a source of private shame which was publicly referenced in various mediums of literature, art and music.

Mark Jackson (ed.), A global history of medicine (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018)
This book features chapters by specialists on the history of medicine in China, the Islamic World, North and Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Western and Eastern Europe, and Australia and New Zealand, with starting and ending chapters framing the discussion. To begin, Mark Jackson discusses a challenge faced by historians of medicine: the need to take a global perspective whilst adequately considering the impact of specific local and temporal conditions. In the final chapter Sanjoy Bhattacharya takes smallpox as a case study for the way  these two dimensions should be integrated, arguing against ‘constrained global histories’ (p.257) which concentrate on powerful official health campaigns and assume worldwide trends but neglect the nuance of regional and local voices.

Jenifer Buckley, Gender, pregnancy and power in eighteenth-century literature: The Maternal Imagination (New York: Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2017)
Looking at medical writings, plays, poetry, novels and popular pamphlets, Jenifer Buckley explores the trope of ‘maternal imagination’ in the eighteenth century: the belief that a pregnant woman could use their mind to influence the development of their unborn child. Beginning with the fascinating case of Mary Toft, a woman who claimed to have metamorphosed her unborn baby into a rabbit, Buckley traces the ways in which maternity was viewed as performance in this period. For authors, the idea of maternal imagination linked to debates about gender, power and the interaction between mind and body, and pregnant women became a stage on which these concerns could be addressed.

Deirdre Benia Cooper Owens, Medical bondage : race, gender, and the origins of American gynecology (Athens : The University of Georgia Press, [2017])
This new study looks at how the discoveries of nineteenth-century gynaecologists such as John Peter Mettauer, James Marion Sims and Nathan Bozeman were informed by medical experimentation on enslaved black women and Irish immigrant women. Deirdre Benia Cooper Owens tells the stories of these women using a variety of sources including medical journals, oral history interviews, newspapers and hospital records. Cooper Owens looks specifically at the destructive ‘medical fictions’ created to justify exploitation, such as the theory that enslaved black women were more resistant to pain than white women, and more broadly at the ways slavery, medicine and science were intertwined, and how American ideas about race, gender and bodies in this period influenced medical practice.













New books in the Wellcome Unit Library

We have some new books in the library this month on a wide variety of topic.  You can check out our latest acquisitions on LibraryThing or come into the Library and browse of new books display in Library Room 1. To arrange an appointment to visit the Library, please contact us.

Books that have arrived this month include:

spitting blogSpitting Blood: the History of Tuberculosis by Helen Bynum (OUP, 2012)
WEL shelfmark RC309.A1 BYN 2012

Bynum’s book spans from the ancient world to the continued struggle to combat tuberculosis today. Richard Evans gives a positive review of Spitting Blood in Times Higher Education.  Chapter 1 is available to read online as a PDF on the OUP website.

Other related books in the Wellcome:

  • Experiment Eleven: Deceit and Betrayal in the Discovery of the Cure for Tuberculosis by Peter Pringle RM666.S573 PRI 2012
  • Disease, Class and Social Change: Tuberculosis in Folkestone and Sandgate, 1880-1930 by Marc Arnold RA644.T7 ARN 2012
  • Tuberculosis and the Victorian Literary Imagination by Katherine Byrne PR149.T83 B97 BYR 2011

rabidRabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus by Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy (Viking, 2012)
WEL shelfmark RC148 WAS 2012

Like Bynum, Wasik and Murphy track the history of rabies from early Mesopotamia through to the 21st century.  Written by a journalist and a veterinarian, this is a very accessible text, but nonetheless goes beyond gory stories and lists a wide variety of academic sources in its bibliography.

Read a review and listen to a podast interview with the authors on NPR.

Other related books in the Wellcome

  • Mad Dogs and Englishmed by Neil Pemberton and Michael Worboys RA644.R3 PEM 2007
  • Mad dogs and Meerkats by Karen Brown RA644.R3 BRO 2011

seaHealth, Medicine and the Sea: Australian Voyages c.1815-1860 by Katherine Foxhall (Manchester University Press, 2012)
WEL shelfmark HV8950.A8 FOX 2012

Katherine Foxhall’s book traces the journeys of travellers from Britain to Austrialia, using their journey as the structure for her text.  She also discusses the health of convicts.  Examples of individuals are used to highlight her text. Foxhall examines how the changing environment on the journey to Austrialia affects conceptions of health.

Related books in the Wellcome:

  • Health and Medicine at Sea 1700-1900 by David Haycock and Sally Archer RC986 HEA 2009
  • Doctors at Sear: Emigrant Voyages to Colonia Australia by Robin Haines RA553 HAI 2005

The Great Manchurian Plague of 1910-1911: the Geopolitics of an Epidemic Disease by William Summers (Yale University Press, 2012)
WEL shelfmark RC178.C6 SUM 2012

Returning to the realm of infectious diseases, Summers’ book focuses on political and economic aspects of the plague, which involved Chinese, Japanese, Russian and  powers.

Related book in the Wellcome:

  • Health and Hygiene in Chinese East Asia: Politics and Publics in the Long Twentieth Century by Qizi Liang and Charlotte Furth RA527 HEA 2010

Related Links Search SOLO Library CatalogueSee our latest acquisitions on LibraryThing | Recommend a book for us to buy | Contact Us

New books in the Wellcome Unit Library

We have added some new titles to our book display in Library Room 1.  You can keep up to date with all our new acquisitions on LibraryThing or subscribe to our new books RSS feed.

Contagions: how commerce has spread disease
by Mark Harrison (Yale, 2012)
WEL shelfmark: RA651 HAR 2012

Written by the director of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine at the University of Oxford, Professor Mark Harrison, this books examines the relationship between disease and the social, political and economic effects of commerce.

The Deepest Sense: A Cultural History of Touch
by Contance Classen (University of Illinois Press, 2012)
WEL shelfmark: GN279.T68 CLA 2012

Dr Classen‘s latest volume on the senses examines the history of the sense of touch from the medieval to the modern period.  The author’s previous works (also available in the Bodleian Libraries) include The Book of Touch (2005) and Aroma: the cultural history of smell (1994)

Doctor Do-Good: Charles Duguid and Aboriginal Advancement, 1930s-1970s
by Rani Kerin (Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2011)
WEL shelfmark: GN666 KER 2011

Dr Charles Duguid was a Scottish doctor who moved to Austrialia and campaigned for the civil rights of Austrialian Aborigines.  This book is based on Dr Kerin‘s PhD thesis on Dr Duguid.

Duelling Surgeon, Colonial Patriot: The Remarkable Life of William Bland
by Robert Lehane (Austrialian Scholarly Publishing, 2011)
WEL shelfmark: DU172.B47 LEH 2011

William Bland was a London-born surgeon who was sent to Australia as a prisoner after a duel. He was actively involved in many aspect of Austrialiam society, including legislative development, the founding of eductional and medical institutions and a doctor and surgeon who published in various medical journals.

Related Links Contact Us | Recent Acquisitions on LibraryThing | Search for books on SOLO

New History of Medicine journal subscription

Histoire, Medecine et Sante

The Bodleian Libraries have subscribed to a new French History of Medicine journal entitled: Histoire, Medecine et Sante.  The peer-reviewed journal, which is from the University of Toulouse II, will be published twice a year and include research articles, discussion of sources and historiography and reviews in English and French. Article summaries are provided in French and English at the end of the issue.


The topic of the first issue is “pudeurs” which translates as modesty in English.  Articles include Anne Carol on medical cadavers and Elsa Nicol on women with cancer in the 19th century.  There is also a book review of Morbid Curiosities : Medical Museums in Nineteenth-Century Britain (OUP, 2011), which is available to consult in the Wellcome Unit Library and the Bodleian Library’s Gladstone Link, as well as electronically as an ebook.

Available to consult

The first issue is now available to request from the Bodleian Stacks via SOLO for members of the Bodleian Libraries. The requested volume can be consulted in the Bodleian Libraries Reading Room of your choice. A full list of contents is available on the Historiens de la sante blog.

Related Links
SOLO | Bodleian Library | Historiens de la sante blog | HMS journal webpage

The Neurological Patient in History

A few weeks ago we received a copy of Jacyna and Casper’s new book The Neurological Patient in History.  One the of the Wellcome Unit members, Lynsey Shaw, has reviewed the book for Reviews in History.  Lynsey is a Wellcome Trust funded doctoral student, studying administrative and therapeutic practices of the Royal Air Force neuropsychiatric branch during the Second World War.
Lynsey gives a positive review of The Neurological Patient in History, concluding that it

…is a valuable and welcome addition to the historiography. It not only places the neurological patient firmly in the spotlight, it also encourages readers to re-examine the patient using fresh and thought-provoking lines of enquiry.

The book is nestling on our rather full shelves in Library Room 2 at shelfmark RC338 NEU 2012.

Related links: SOLO library catalogue | Wellcome Unit Library contact page


New books and a new member of staff in the library

Natalie in Library Room 1

This week we have news books and a lovely new member of staff.  Natalie is working here for the summer, while our regular staff member Bethan is away.  Natalie is currently a graduate trainee and works at the Oxford University History Faculty Library.  She is an expert at using our online library catalogue SOLO and accessing e-resources through OxLIP+.

We also have some more new books.

Physick and the family: health, medicine and care in Wales, 1600-1750 by Alun Withey (Manchester University Press, 2011) RC498.2 WIT 2011

One of the Wellcome Unit Library’s favourite bloggers (dralun.wordpress.com/), Dr Withey’s book uses primary sources to examine how medical knowledge was disseminated in early modern Britain orally and in print and how the sick were cared for in their homes and communities. Reviewed in Social History of Medicine 25(3).

Desperate Housewives, Neuroses and the Domestic Environment 1945-1970 by Ali Haggett (Pickering and Chatto, 2012) HQ1075 HAG 2012

This book is part of the Studies for the Society for the Social History of Medicine series.  Haggett’s aims to ‘explore the various aspects of the dometic role in more depth, in order to provide a more nuanced appraisal of women’s experience’ (p.12). Chapters examine mid-twentieth century medical understandings of affective disorders, personal accounts of anxiety and depression and representations of anxiety and depression in the medical and popular press.

Pickering and Chatto offer some sample pages for free on their website.

Slavery, Disease, and Suffering in the Southern Low Country by Peter McCandless (CUP, 2011) RA418.3.U6 MCC 2011

McCandless explores diseases in the region of Carolina, the ‘wealthiest and unhealthiest’ region in North America.  An excerpt is available online on the CUP website. Reviewed in the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 67(2).

An Introduction to the Social History of Medicine: Europe Since 1500 by Keir Waddington (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) R484 WAD 2011

This is a comprehensive single volume work covering a wide variety of topics including nursing, surgery, medicine and religion and medicine and empire.

The Moses of Malaria by Jan Peter Verhave (Erasmus, 2011) QL757 VER 2011

This books examines the work of Nicholaas H. Swellengrebel (1885-1970), who was a biologist that specialised in the study of malaria.  Verhave highlights how Swellengrebel’s approach bridge the debates between those who wanted to control mosquitoes and those who wanted to eradicate them.  Reviewed in the Bulletin of the History of Medicine 86(1).

Related links: Wellcome Unit Library’s Library Thing | SOLO

More new books in the library Vietnamese medicine, plague and tuberculosis

We have another bunch of exciting new books in the library this week.

You can subscribe to our LibraryThing list to get alerts when new books arrive in the Wellcome Unit Library.

New titles include:

Southern Medicine for Southern People: Vietnamese Medicine in the making by Laurence Monnais (Cambridge Scholars, 2012) R644.V52 SOU 2012

This is an edited volume that developed from the 2006 conference on the History of Medicine in Southeast Asia.  Chapters include Ayo Wahlberg’s discussion of ‘Family Secrets and the Industrialisation of Herbal Medicine in Postcolonial Vietnam’ and editor Laurence Monnais’ ‘Traditional, Complementary and Perhaps Scientific? Professional Views of Vietnamese Medicine in the Age of French Colonialism.

The publishers have made a sample PDF available online.

Plague, Fear and Politics in San Francisco’s Chinatown by Guenter Risse (Johns Hopkins University, 2012) RC176.C2 RIS 2012

Risse’s examines the social aspects of bubonic plague outbreak in the early 1900s San Francisco.  It considers the social conflicts between public health officials and the inhabitants of the city’s Chinatown area. Risse’s other books, Hospital Life in Enlightenment Scotland and Mending Bodies Saving Souls: a history of hospitals are also available in the library.

Tuberculosis and the Victorian Literary Imagination by Katherine Byrne (CUP, 2011) PR149.T83 B97 BYR 2011

Dr Byrne uses examples from Victorian literature, including Dickens’ Dombey and Sons and Bram Stoker’s Dracula to conside the cultural associations made with tuberculosis in the 19th century.

A comprehensive review of the book is available on the British Society for Literature and Science website and a PDF excerpt is available online from CUP.

Related links: Wellcome Unit Library Recent Acquisitions page | LibraryThing

New books in the library – war surgery, Spanish flu and more

This week we have some new books in the library and a varity of history of medicine topics:

  • American Pandemic: the lost world of the 1918 influenza epidemic by Nancy K Bristow (OUP, 2012) RA640.I6 BRI 2012

OUP describe the book as a

…much-needed corrective to the silence surrounding the influenza outbreak. It sheds light on the social and cultural history of Americans during the pandemic, uncovering both the causes of the nation’s public amnesia and the depth of the quiet remembering that endured. Focused on the primary players in this drama–patients and their families, friends, and community, public health experts, and health care professionals–historian Nancy K. Bristow draws on multiple perspectives to highlight the complex interplay between social identity, cultural norms, memory, and the epidemic.

If you like this, you might also like to read Phillips and Killingray’s edited volume The Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918-19: news perspectives (RD150.4 SPA 2003)

  • War Surgery 1914-1918 by Thomas Scotland and Steven Hey (eds) (Helion, 2012) RD WAR 2012

History blogger James Daly describes the edited volume enthusiastically:

This is a brilliant book. Considering that the editors and contributors are medical professionals, it reads incredibly well as a history book – much more readable than many a military history text!

As well as a number of detailed tables, the books includes a variety of photos, include some particularly gory ones of post-surgery intestines.

  • For the Health of the Enslaved: slaves, medicine and power in the Danish West Indies, 1803-1848 by Niklas Thode Jensen (Museum Tusculanum Press, 2012) RA456.V57 JEN 2012

Danish publishers Museum Tusculanum Press summarise the text:

Through a series of case studies the author demonstrates how the Danish West Indian government implemented policies of medical control concerning the enslaved, but also that this did not take place without resistance. Opposing perceptions of health and interests of economy and security clashed in the colonial situation. The investigations reveal that in a comparative Caribbean perspective, Danish West Indian health policies were often quite unique and successful, but also that the health of the enslaved was a contested field staging an ongoing power struggle between the planters, the colonial administration and the slaves themselves in the waning years of human bondage in the New World.

The four page table of contents is available to view online – it gives a good overview of the areas covered in the book.

  • Infectious Disease in India, 1892-1940 : policy-making and the perception of risk by Sandhya L. Polu (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) RA643.7.I4 POL 2012

The contents, introduction and index to this book are available to read online for free, via the publisher’s website.  Polu examines various diseases, including malaria, cholera and yellow fever and uses them to

analyze how factors such as health diplomacy, epidemiology, trade, imperial governance, medical technologies, and cultural norms, operated within global and colonial conceptions of risk to shape infectious disease policies in colonial India. (More on Palgrave Macmillan’s site)

Related Links: Recommend a book for the library to purchase | Search SOLO library catalogue | Contact us to make an appointment to visit the library | See all our new books on LibraryThing

New books in the library

Today we added two new books to the Wellcome Unit Library’s shelves:

Foucault’s History of Madness RC 438 FOU 2009

Weisz’s The Medical Mandarins: the French Academy in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries R504 WEI 1995

Both the books are on reading lists for advanced papers in the MSc History of Science, Medicine and Technology at the University of Oxford.

Related links: Wellcome Unit Library website | SOLO Library Catalogue | More about the HSMT MSc course