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Private charity and the public purse. The development of Bedford General Hospital: 1794–1988

Medical History
Cambridge University Press
Publication Date
  • Book Reviews
  • Medicine


Book Reviews Hartog discusses improvements in public nutrition in Indonesia; P. Boomgaard uses medical records of smallpox vaccination in Java as a source for historical demography; and J. A. de Moor presents a colourful picture of the life of army doctors in the Archipelago, 1830-80. Finally, for a comparative perspective, Michael Worboys contributes a rapid overview of developments in tropical medicine in British India and tropical Africa after 1890. All these papers have the virtue of brevity, yet most are thoroughly documented. Apart from minor lapses (such as the mis-spelling of medicine in a chapter heading on p. 35, and of I. J. Catanach's name in a muddled footnote on p. 166), the book is neatly printed and well-bound. As usual with such collections, however, there is no subject index, merely an index of names. Geoffrey W. Rice, University of Canterbury, New Zealand BERNARD CASHMAN, Private charity and the public purse. The development of Bedford General Hospital: 1794-1988, Bedford, For the North Bedfordshire Health Authority, 1988, 8vo, pp. xxvii, 206, illus., £7.95 [plus £1.00 p&p if ordered from Mr T. Devine, Divisional Supplies Dept., Britannia Place, Bedford MK42 9DNM, (paperback). T. G. DAVIES, Deeds not words: a history of the Swansea General and Eye Hospital 1817-1948, Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 1988, 8vo, pp. xv, 259, illus., £7.95. ARTHUR LEWIS WYMAN, Medicine in the Parish of Fulham from the fourteenth century: Fulham Hospital 1884, London, Fulham and Hammersmith Historical Society, 1988, 8vo, pp. x, 160, illus., £5.00 + .50 p & p from Miss E. J. Willson, Hon. Secretary, 56 Palewell Park, London SW14 8JH. Hospital history flourishes, at least the kind that commemorates local initiative and is written for local readers. The authors of these are medical men: none would disagree with Cashman's conclusion that the problems still debated 40 years after the inception of the NHS are at least two centuries old and that the "range of possible solutions is strictly limited".

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