THE STRANGE DEATH OF PRIVATE WHITE A Victorian Scandal that made History

Author: Hopkins (Harry)
Year: 1977
Publisher: Weidenfeld and Nicolson
Edition Details: 1st Edn.
Book Condition: NrF/NrF
ISBN: 0297772937
Price: 4.00
IN STOCK NOW
Harback. Did 689 Private Frederick John White, of the 7th Hussars, die of 'inflammation of the heart', as the army insisted - or of 150 lashes from the cat o'nine tails inflicted by order of a court-martial a few weeks earlier? Now all but forgotten, the protracted inquest on this obscure soldier's body in the long, hot summer of 1846 attracted unprecedented publicity. Through three successive post-mortems, five doctors argued over the evidence - on which the career of at least one of them depended. Determined to uncover the truth, the Coroner, Dr Thomas Wakley, Radical MP and crusading editor of 'The Lancet', fought a bitter, 3-week long verbal duel with Staff Surgeon Hall, later the army's medical chief in the Crimea. Roundly condemning the 'revolting practice' of military flogging, the jury's verdict rang through the land, forcing even the Duke of Wellington, then commander-in-chief, to retreat. The inquest forms a landmark in the long struggle to win basic human rights for the common soldier - a neglected, yet critical area of socio-political history, here fully charted for the first time. 'the Unfortunate Occurrence at Hounslow' - as the War Secretary called it - will throw a penetrating light on early Victorian society, offering a close-up, from an unusual angle, of the interplay of the forces then reshaping British society. Illus., Epilogue, Notes and Index. 273pp. 8vo. h/back. Nr. F. in Nr. F. dw. which has a sl. faded sp.

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