Monday, July 5, 2010

H.Rider Haggard

Our feature today is the prolific British author H. Rider Haggard. He did most
of his writing in the second half of the 19th century. The illustration for today's
entry is the title page for his book "DOCTOR THERNE," published in 1898.
In this book Mr. Haggard provides for us a window to a period when
immunizations were still a matter of controversy. Mr. Haggard was inspired
to write this book because, during his travels, he had seen first hand the
suffering of the victims of smallpox. Then he returned to England to find a
group of activists known as the "anti-vaccinationists." These are described
as agitators who want to stop people from receiving immunizations against
smallpox. The character Dr. Therne is involved in this controversy as the
story unfolds.
It is interesting to note that in our own times we also have a number of
people with strong reservations about vaccines. There are many claims
about a connection between immunizations and autism. By reading this
book we are able to see how that controversy was handled back in the

We know very little about H. Rider Haggard, the author, except for
the obvious indication that he was a very prolific writer. We welcome the
contributions of any readers of this blog to help us know more about
Mr. Haggard.


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