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indigoBooksRoy Porter


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This dazzling and yet intimate book is the first modern one-volume history of London from Roman times to the present. An extraordinary city, London grew from a backwater in the Classical age into an important medieval city, a significant Renaissance urban center,…

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An eminently readable, entertaining romp through the history of our vain and valiant efforts to heal ourselves. Mankind's battle to stay alive and healthy for as long as possible is our oldest, most universal struggle. With his characteristic wit and vastly…

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This fascinating story of madness reveals the radically different perceptions of madness and approaches to its treatment, from antiquity to the present day. Roy Porter explores what we really mean by 'madness', covering an enormous range of topics from witches…

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In his short but authoritative study, Roy Porter assesses the impact of disease on the English before the widespread availability and public provision of medical care, incorporating into the revised edition new perspectives offered by recent research. He examines…

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Bethlem Hospital, popularly known as "Bedlam", is a unique institution. Now seven hundred and fifty years old, it has been continuously involved in the care of the mentally ill in London since at least the 1400s. As such it has a strong claim to be the oldest…

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'As an introduction to early modern thinking and the impact of past ideas on present lives, this book can find few equals and no superiors. Porter is a witty, humane writer with an extraordinary vocabulary and a sparkling sense of fun. Whether he is quoting from…

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In the early modern centuries a body of popularized medical writings appeared, telling ordinary people how they could best take care of their own health. Often written be doctors, such books gave simple advice for home treatments, while commonly warning of the…

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John Haslam’s Illustrations of Madness , written in 1810, occupies a special place in psychiatric history, it was the first book-length account of one single psychiatric case written by a British psychiatrist. John Haslam, apothecary to London’s Bethlem Hospital,…

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In this sweeping analysis of colonialism and its legacies, John Wood Sweet explores how the ongoing interaction of conquered Indians, English settlers, and enslaved Africans in New England produced a closely interwoven, though radically divided, society. The…

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This collection of essays explores the complex and contested histories of drugs and narcotics in societies from ancient Greece to the present day. It shows that the major substances so used, from herbs of the field to laboratory-produced synthetic medicines, have…

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'As an introduction to early modern thinking and the impact of past ideas on present lives, this book can find few equals and no superiors. Porter is a witty, humane writer with an extraordinary vocabulary and a sparkling sense of fun. Whether he is quoting from…

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A portrait of 18th century England, from its princes to its paupers, from its metropolis to its smallest hamlet. The topics covered include - diet, housing, prisons, rural festivals, bordellos, plays, paintings, and work and wages.