July 15, 1988

Medicine and Society in Wakefield and Huddersfield, 1780-1870

Author Affiliations

Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine London

Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine London


by Hilary Marland, 503 pp, with illus, $59.50, New York, Cambridge University Press, 1987.

JAMA. 1988;260(3):409-410. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410030129045

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Reading almost 400 pages of text and more than 100 pages of appendices, notes, and bibliography about 90 years of medicine in Wakefield and Huddersfield might remind one of the story of the little girl who read a massive volume on penguins. Asked if she enjoyed it, she replied, "It was a very good book, but it told me more about penguins than I wanted to know." Even British readers might relate to Wakefield primarily as the place where Oliver Goldsmith's vicar lived and to Huddersfield as a community with a struggling, lower-division soccer team. What will Americans make of it?

It has been said that Hilary Marland's book is unlikely to appeal to the casual reader, but it is nonetheless important for all that. Her aim is to provide a comprehensive account of health care, medical institutions, and the medical profession in these two Yorkshire communities about 10 miles