Discover the story of the disease that devastated the Victorian population, and brought about major changes in sanitation. Drawing on the latest scientific research and a wealth of archival material, Amanda Thomas uses first-hand accounts, blending personal stories with an overview of the history of the disease and its devastating after-effects on British society. This fascinating history of a catastrophic disease uncovers forgotten stories from each of the major cholera outbreaks in 1831-3, 1848-9, 1853-4 and 1866. Amanda Thomas reveals that Victorian theories about the disease were often closer to the truth than we might assume, among them the belief that cholera was spread by miasma, or foul air.
The work brings together a unique range of sources to reveal a forgotten episode in London's history. Situated opposite Westminster on the south bank of the River Thames, by 1848 Lambeth's waterfront had become London's industrial centre and a magnet to migrant workers. The book exposes the suffering of the working population in the face of apathy and ineptitude, and convincingly challenges the long-standing belief that London's numerous cholera outbreaks beginning in 1832 were unrelated. The work combines recent scientific research with first-hand accounts to show for the first time that in the nineteenth century cholera was very probably endemic in the River Thames.