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Picture of Unseen Enemy

Unseen Enemy

The English, Disease, and Medicine in Colonial Bengal, 1617 – 1847

Author(s): Sudip Bhattacharya

Book Description

Europeans in early colonial Bengal fell prey to new diseases that their limited pharmacopeia, based on an imperfect knowledge of physiology, often failed to treat. This book looks at clinical observations and theories by several English doctors, who, with the encouragement of the East India Company, strove to address these ailments. This enthralling story begins with John Woodall, who never voyaged to India but equipped the surgeons’ chests aboard ships sailing there, and ends with James Esdaile’s contentious work at the experimental Mesmeric Hospital he was permitted to set up briefly in Calcutta.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-6135-9
ISBN-10: 1-4438-6135-9
Date of Publication: 01/09/2014
Pages / Size: 260 / A5
Price: £47.99


Sudip Bhattacharya lives and works in Calcutta, and this book, like his first (The Strange Case of Lord Pigot, 2013, also published by Cambridge Scholars), focuses on colonial history. An Associate Professor in English at a prestigious college, Sudip is deeply interested in his city’s rich colonial heritage.