Panacea, poison and psychopharmacology: the lure of laudanum

In the first half of the nineteenth century, many opiate preparations were marketed towards females. In fact, many were branded using the names of women, for example: ‘Mrs Winslow’s soothing syrup’ and ‘Mrs Bailey’s quieting syrup.’ Hardly surprising then that opium, particularly laudanum, was a popular choice for women for most of the century. The mass production of opiates in this way shows how society gave credence to the idea that opium and laudanum were able to relieve most ailments.

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Racial Adventure Stories for Victorian and Edwardian Children

As the British empire encroached ever farther into new territories inhabited by thousands of ethnic groups, Victorians debated the most likely reasons for their own imperialist success. Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859) inspired those seeking a scientific explanation, who composed cranial and facial measurement charts positioning distinct “races” in descending order; below the European appeared the Asian, Native American, African, and, lastly, the Australian Aborigine. In my research on Victorian attitudes to race and empire, I find

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Daniel Grey, “Liable to Very Gross Abuse’: Murder, Moral Panic and Cultural Fears over Infant Life Insurance, 1875-1914′

By Daniel Grey My article, “Liable to Very Gross Abuse’: Murder, Moral Panic and Cultural Fears over Infant Life Insurance, 1875–1914′, examines the late nineteenth century belief that working-class parents were liable to neglect and ultimately kill their children in hopes of receiving a life insurance payout from a friendly society. This idea was not only widely and repeatedly debated in the Victorian press and in Parliament, but the desire to eradicate this supposedly widespread practice became a cornerstone of

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