By D. Armstrong

Clinical texts supply a strong technique of getting access to modern perceptions of affliction and during them assumptions in regards to the nature of the physique and id. via mapping those perceptions, from their nineteenth-century specialise in sickness situated in a organic physique via to their 'discovery' of the psycho-social sufferer of the past due 20th century, a historical past of id, either actual and mental, is published.

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34 A New History of Identity Newman (1906) subtitled his book on infant mortality ‘a social problem’ and described it as ‘not without national importance’. In the late nineteenth century when improvement in infant mortality signified ‘progress in sanitary reform’ (Registrar-General 1887: xci) there was a fear that this represented dangerous interference in the natural order such that many infants were being saved who perhaps ‘should die’ (Registrar-General 1881: xiii). Even in 1907, the high mortality in the first week of life was held to be mainly due to deaths from immaturity and debility among infants that could ‘hardly be regarded as viable’ (Registrar-General 1907).

There is no plan which is more efficacious for the absorption of the organic substances, and perhaps of the carbonic acid, than plants .. the object should be to get the most rapidly growing trees and shrubs. (Parkes 1873: 441) Even with these precautions, the corpse remained a hazardous object for many years and the process of decomposition was an uncertain one. Hamer cautioned that if on re-opening any grave: the soil is found to be offensive, such soil shall not be disturbed and in no case shall human remains be removed from the grave.

Judicious siting of the cemetery, good depth of burial and the appropriate use of plants could aid the decomposition of the corpse: deep burial and the use of plants, closely placed in the cemetery. There is no plan which is more efficacious for the absorption of the organic substances, and perhaps of the carbonic acid, than plants .. the object should be to get the most rapidly growing trees and shrubs. (Parkes 1873: 441) Even with these precautions, the corpse remained a hazardous object for many years and the process of decomposition was an uncertain one.

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