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indigoBooksRoy Porter


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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 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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For generations the traditional focus for those wishing to understand the roots of the modern world has been France on the eve of the Revolution. Porter certainly acknowledges France's importance, but here makes an overwhelming case for consideringBritain the…

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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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'Roy Porter, a historian of formidable range, turns to urban history in this marvellously lucid, informative and passionate book... Porter's facts are always at the service of the narrative, which has a finely maintained momentum, balancing statistics with the…

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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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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.

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"To combine enormous knowledge with a delightful style and a highly idiosyncratic point of view is Roy Porter's special gift, and it makes [this] book . . . alive and fascinating and provocative on every page."—Oliver Sacks, M.D. Hailed as "a remarkable…

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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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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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‘Nerves’ became a highly eligible illness in early Georgian London and Bath. What Freud was for Vienna at the end of the nineteenth-century, George Cheyne was for eighteenth-century fashionable ailments. The English Malady was one of the best known and most…

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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…