Cambridge Catalog  
  • Your account
  • View basket
  • Help
Home > Catalog > Contours of Death and Disease in Early Modern England
Contours of Death and Disease in Early Modern England


  • 77 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 670 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 1.06 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 614.4/2422/09032
  • Dewey version: 20
  • LC Classification: RA650.6.G6 D63 1997
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Diseases--England, South East--History--17th century
    • Diseases--England, South East--History--18th century
    • Mortality--England, South East--History--17th century
    • Mortality--England, South East--History--18th century
    • Diseases--England, South East--Statistics

Library of Congress Record

Add to basket


 (ISBN-13: 9780521404648 | ISBN-10: 0521404649)

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$221.00 (C)

This book provides a penetrating account of death and disease in early modern England. Using a wide range of sources for the southeast of England, the author highlights the tremendous variation in levels of mortality across geographical contours and across two centuries of time. She explores the epidemiological causes and consequences of these mortality variations, and offers the reader a fascinating insight into the way patients and practitioners perceived, understood and reacted to the multitude of fevers, poxes and plagues in past times.


List of plates; List of figures; List of tables; Acknowledgements; Introduction; Part I. Landscapes of the Past: 1. Airs, waters and places; 2. Regional and local settings; Part II. Contours of Mortality: 3. Geographical patterns of mortality; 4. Geographical rhythms of mortality; Part III. Environments and Movements of Disease: 5. The spectrum of death, disease and medical care; 6. Marshlands, mosquitoes and malaria; 7. Crises, fevers and poxes; Part IV. Contours of Death: Contours of Health: 8. The epidemiological landscapes of the past; Bibliography.


"This book is nothing less than a magisterial work of prodigious scholarship. Dobson's astute and thorough methodology, comfort with interdisciplinary materials, and facile writing and quantitative displays are exemplary and provide scholars and students with a model for similar research." Sixteenth Century Journal

"The amount of work Dobson undertook for this volume is phenomenal..." Isis

"It is an impressive book, with evidence drawn from parish registers, diaries, journals, church records, news accounts, official surveys, tax records, census data, and many other sources. The thoroughness of Mary Dobson's research allowed her to draw a complete picture of death and disease over two centuries and to understand the relationship between the environment and health. Dobson's book is primarily a history of death and disease, but it is much more. It contains a wealth of information about demography, geography, and society. It will stand as a valuable resource for historians of the early modern era." Journal of Social History

"...breaks new ground by promoting regional historical demography." Journal of Economic History

"...a remarkable book that deserves an audience much broader than that of strictly historical demographers." American Historical Review

"Dobson's study is an essential reference work not only for `historical demographers, medical historians, geographers, and epidemiologists,' but for all scholars of early modern English society and culture." The Historian

"Contours of Death and Disease presents its extraordinary array of demographic and descriptive information in creative and compelling ways." Historian

"...quantitative analysis are informed and enriched by a wide range of qualitative research..." Michael Zell, Journal of Modern History

printer iconPrinter friendly version AddThis