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The Tragedy of Childbed Fever - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Tragedy of Childbed Fever

Irvine Loudon


Childbed fever was by the far the most common cause of deaths associated with childbirth up to the Second World War throughout Britain and Europe. Otherwise known as puerperal fever, it was an infection which followed childbirth and caused thousands of miserable and agonising deaths every year. This book provides an account of this tragic disease from its recognition in the 18th century up to the second half of the 20th century. Examining this within a broad history of infective diseases, the book goes on to explore ideas from past debates about the nature of infectious diseases and contagion, ... More

Keywords: childbed fever, childbirth, Second World War, puerperal fever, Streptococcus pyogenes, streptococcal disease

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2000 Print ISBN-13: 9780198204992
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198204992.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Irvine Loudon, author