Kevin Siena is associate professor of history at Trent University. He is the author of Venereal Disease, Hospitals and the Urban Poor: London's Foul Wards, 1600-1800, which was shortlisted for the Jason A. Hannah Medal. He lives in Peterborough, Canada.
Fear - fear of contagion and fear of the poor animated eighteenth-century Britain. Kevin Siena's Rotten Bodies supplies an all-important new understanding of the histories of poverty, class and race. -Tim Hitchcock, author of Down and Out in Eighteenth-Century London Kevin Siena has produced a lively, smart, and thoughtful history of the pestilential 'plebeian body' and the fears it produced throughout the long eighteenth century. As it moves through sites as varied as debtors prisons, slums, cotton-mill towns, and the homes of the poor, this book insists on both the centrality of class as a category of analysis for medicine in the Age of Reason and the importance of medicine for the history of emergent conceptions of class. It is a work sure both to challenge and reinvigorate the history of medicine and British intellectual and social history more broadly. -Suman Seth, Cornell University