The Arsenic Century: How Victorian Britain was Poisoned at Home, Work, and Play

The Arsenic Century: How Victorian Britain was Poisoned at Home, Work, and Play

James C. Whorton


Arsenic is rightly notorious because the poison of selection for Victorian murderers. but the nice majority of fatalities from arsenic within the 19th century got here no longer from intentional poisoning, yet from coincidence.

Kept in lots of houses for the aim of poisoning rats, the white powder used to be simply wrong for sugar or flour and infrequently integrated into the kinfolk dinner. It was once additionally generally found in eco-friendly dyes, used to tint every thing from candles and sweets to curtains, wallpaper, and garments (it was once arsenic in previous lace that was once the danger). even if at domestic amidst arsenical curtains and wallpapers, at paintings production those items, or at play swirling in regards to the papered, curtained ballroom in arsenical robes and gloves, nobody used to be past the poison's succeed in.

Drawing at the clinical, felony, and renowned literature of the time, The Arsenic Century paints a brilliant photograph of its wide-ranging and insidious presence in Victorian everyday life, weaving jointly the historical past of its emergence as a virtually inescapable family chance with the sordid tale of its widespread employment as a device of homicide and suicide. And eventually, because the ultimate bankruptcy indicates, arsenic in Victorian Britain was once a great deal the pilot episode for a sequence of environmental poisoning dramas that grew ever extra universal in the course of the 20th century and nonetheless has no result in sight.

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