Friday, 2 October 2015

Book Review: 'Til Death us do Part - causes of death 1300 - 1948

This slim volume, published in Australia by Unlock the Past, is one of three of Janet Few's guides I picked up at the BIFHSGO conference.

The table of contents is:

Introduction
Epidemics and infections
Work related diseases
The effects of urbanisation
The effects of poverty
Childbirth
Surgery
Famine
War
Suicide, murder and accident
Why did things change?
Finding causes of death
Further reading
Some British epidemics
Index

It so happened a talk to BIFHSGO on old disease names had been suggested to me recently - this guide has information ample to satiate most genealogist's curiosity without overwhelming medical detail. I came away grateful to be living at a time and a place with 21st century medical knowledge and where the formidable array of barber surgeon tools shown in page 14 are only to be found in museums.

The guide's 28 numbered pages include two pages of advertising and a blank page. It's a slim volume. The introduction starts at page 5, the end material starts on page 22 with suggestions for further reading, followed by a two page list of British epidemics by year and a two page index. A typical page is 21 cm tall, 14-1/4 cm wide, with 5 cm top, 2 cm bottom and 1-1/2 cm side margins.

Information is compacted in what would appear to be 8.5 point type. A larger type would have been welcome in consideration of those of us with declining vision. Fortunately there's a eBook version. You can read a pdf sample at https://www.gen-ebooks.com/downloadable/download/linkSample/link_id/200/.

In Canada 'Til Death us do Part - causes of death 1300 - 1948 is available for $12 from Global Genealogy.


2 comments:

Leslie Still said...

The one drawback is that it has been poorly edited.

Jill Ball said...

Thanks for this honest and unbiased review. Whilst I enjoyed the booklet I think the topic could have been expaneded.