The social impact of the influenza pandemic of 1918-19: with special reference to the East Midlands

Knight, Joan Eileen (2015) The social impact of the influenza pandemic of 1918-19: with special reference to the East Midlands. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

PDF (Thesis - as examined) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (8MB) | Preview


The purpose of this study was to explore the social impact of the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic, known as 'Spanish influenza', on the lives of the people of the East Midlands (defined as Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire). A range of primary and secondary literature revealing the global impact of the event was examined, together with literature focusing on Britain and the east Midlands region to enable appropriate comparisons to be made and the East Midlands' experience to be contextualised.

The event has been examined in six chapters. These consider theories relating to the origins and spread of the pandemic, together with morbidity and mortality levels in military and civilian populations, including patterns relating to age and gender, the susceptibility of particular communities and differences associated with socio-economic status and rurality. provision of care for the sick in hospital and in the home and arrangements made for the burial of the dead have been discussed as have preventive and curative methods adopted by doctors, public health authorities and people themselves and the effects of the pandemic on everyday life, at work, at school and in leisure activities.

The influenza pandemic is regarded as having struck in three waves, the first between March and August 1918, the second between September and December 1918, and the third between January and May 1919. However, the onset and duration of these waves differed from place to place and many countries, particularly outside Europe, did not experience all three waves. Furthermore, not all places within the same country experienced the pandemic in the same way, some areas suffering severely while others suffered much less. This study, therefore, attempts to show how the East Midlands, an extensively urbanised and industrialised region in the centre of England, experienced the influenza pandemic and seek to explain this.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Beckett, J.V.
Wrigley, C.J.
Keywords: Influenza Epidemic, 1918-1919, social aspects
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities
Item ID: 28545
Depositing User: Knight, Joan
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2015 11:23
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2017 04:20

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View