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Bulletin of the History of Medicine 80.2 (2006) 400-401

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Leslie A. Clarkson and E. Margaret Crawford, eds. Famine and Disease in Ireland. 5 vols. Vol. 1: General Introduction; William Robert Wills Wilde, The Census of Ireland for the Year 1851, part V: Tables of Deaths (1856). Vol. 2: Charles E. Trevelyan, The Irish Crisis (1848); The Dublin Quarterly Journal of Medical Science (1849) (excerpts). Vol. 3: Francis Barker and John Cheyne, An Account of the Rise, Progress, and Decline of the Fever lately Epidemical in Ireland (2 vols., 1821), vol. 1. Vol. 4: Francis Barker and John Cheyne, An Account of the Rise, Progress, and Decline of the Fever lately Epidemical in Ireland (2 vols., 1821), vol. 2. Vol. 5: [Jonathan Swift], A Short View of the State of Ireland (1727–28); John Rutty, A Chronological History of the Weather and Seasons, and of the Prevailing Diseases in Dublin (1770); William Harty, An Historic Sketch of the Causes, Progress, Extent, and Mortality of the Contagious Fever Epidemic in Ireland during the Years 1817, 1818, and 1819 (1920) (excerpt); index. London: Pickering and Chatto, 2005. Vol. 1: xxxii + 555 pp. (facsimiles); Vol. 2: viii + 330 pp. (facsimiles); Vol. 3: viii + 531 pp. (facsimiles); Vol. 4: 387 pp. (facsimiles); Vol. 5: ix + 517 pp. (facsimiles). Set: $750.00 (1-85196-791-5).

The facsimiles in this collection lead up to and include the Great Famine in Ireland in the years 1845–49, but the editors emphasize the documents' relevance to the contemporary world: "Although famine was largely in retreat from the western parts of Europe by the early nineteenth century, it lingered in the east for decades thereafter. In Asia and Africa it still occurs with tragic consequences. The experiences in these regions display at least some of the features evident in Ireland up to the mid-nineteenth century" (1: xiii). The editors conclude that "the social structure of Ireland made the community vulnerable to famine whenever events—weather, warfare, plant disease—conspired to destroy food supplies. Whenever governments responded to the social dislocation caused by famine and disease, the range of actions they adopted was not unlike those seen today" (1: xxix).

Volume 1 begins with the editors' preface; it and the other volumes contain the facsimiles themselves, with chronologies of the authors' lives and works, bibliographies, and notes.

Andrew Marshall and Judith Marshall. Striving for the Comfort Zone: A Perspective on Julius Jeffreys. Dallas, Tex.: Windy Knoll Publications, 2004. xiii + 177 pp. Ill. $29.95 (0-9754695-0-9).

Julius Jeffreys (1800–1877) was a physician, an anatomist, a businessman, a traveler. His main professional interest was in improving the climate for individuals. His work ranged from major efforts to improve conditions for "recuperating soldiers [End Page 400] in the Indian Army" (p. xi) to "encouraging friends and relatives to move to unpolluted regions of the world" (p. xi).

This biography mixes the personal and the professional. Chapters move chronologically from Jeffreys's background (ancestors, parents, siblings) to his work in India; his first marriage; his development of the respirator (which, according to the authors, was a word coined by Jeffreys himself, to identify a device for warming inhaled breath [p. xii]); his book Views upon the Statics of the Human Chest, published in 1843; his second marriage; his work with the British Army in India; his semiretirement; and his legacy. Although the biography is not framed by any contextual discussion of Jeffreys and his work, it brings to view a then-notable figure in nineteenth-century British medicine and science.

Peter L. Twohig. Labour in the Laboratory: Medical Laboratory Workers in the Maritimes, 1900–1950. McGill-Queen's Associated Medical Services (Hannah Institute) Studies in the History of Medicine, no. 23. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2005. xxi + 241 pp. Ill. $70.00 (0-7735-2861-X).

"Few historians of the Atlantic region have turned their attention to the history of health despite a flourishing regional scholarship," writes the author of this book, which intends to put health-care...


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