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In his short but authoritative study, Roy Porter examines the impact of disease upon the English and their responses to it before the widespread availability and public provision of medical care. Professor Porter incorporates into the revised second edition new perspectives offered by recent research into provincial medical history, the history of childbirth, and women’s studies in the social history of medicine. He begins by sketching a picture of the threats posed by disease to population levels and social continuity from Tudor times to the Industrial Revolution, going on to consider the nature and development of the medical profession, attitudes to doctors and disease, and the growing commitment of the state to public health. Drawing together a wide range of often fragmentary material, and providing a detailed annotated bibliography, this book is an important guide to the history of medicine and to English social history.