The Victorian Plague

Pen and Sword
Hardback 1st Edition 2015; Paperback 2nd Edition 2020

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.


"A fascinating account, blending science with social history to provide a compelling narrative of one of mankind’s greatest killers."

Dr Nick Barratt, historian.

"An invaluable tightly-written account of an infamous disease, seamlessly blending popular science, Victorian history and the latest theories about cholera's resurgence in the 21st century."

Lee Jackson, author of Dirty Old London.

"This book does everything that the title suggests and much more besides. The core of the book is the story of how cholera devastated English towns and cities in the nineteenth century and Amanda Thomas also develops the context to the successive epidemics in commendable detail. It is this contextual detail that makes it a satisfying read."

Dr Sandra Dunster, University of Greenwich.

"Ten fascinating chapters ... the bibliography and endnotes will enable others to research further into this subject..."

Copyright Amanda J. Thomas 2020.