The Germ of an Idea

Contagionism, Religion, and Society in Britain, 1660–1730

  • Authors
  • Margaret DeLacy

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Margaret DeLacy
    Pages 17-35
  3. Margaret DeLacy
    Pages 67-83
  4. Margaret DeLacy
    Pages 147-169
  5. Margaret DeLacy
    Pages 171-175
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 177-305

About this book


Germ of an Idea shows how a belief in contagion began to spread among a group of medical reformers who had been forced by nationality and religious nonconformity to follow alternative pathways to medical education and professional status in early eighteenth century Britain. It explains how contagionism shaped their ideas about the nature and behavior of diseases such as smallpox, plague, syphilis, and consumption and how it interacted with the belief that diseases were not imbalances, but specific entities.


Britain eighteenth century English Europe event Great Britain history idea medicine modern history religion seventeenth century society understanding writing

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, New York
  • eBook Packages History
  • Print ISBN 978-1-349-57558-9
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-57529-6
  • Buy this book on publisher's site