Dirt: Filth and Decay in a New World Arcadia

Author(s): Pamela Wood

NZ Politics & Social History | Secondhand

Coming to the New World paradise of New Zealand the 19th-century colonial settlers did not expect to find the Old World evils of dirt and decay. But this original and fascinating book shows that dirt there was and that over time opinions changed about just what it was, what should be done about it and who had responsibility for dealing with it. Pamela Wood wades through topics like mud and swamps, sewerage, toilets, slums, abattoirs and cemeteries with cheerful attention to the polluted and the putrid. She explores the roles of doctors and hospitals and of local authorities in the protection of public health from disease and decay. She offers a refreshing, unexpected and valuable insight into our social and cultural history. First published October 2005. âÃÂÃÂCleanliness may be next to godliness, but dirt is so much more interesting. Pamela WoodâÃÂÃÂs smart and insightful history of the varieties of colonial filth has it all . . . Read this book for fresh and important insights into the values animating New ZealandâÃÂàcolonial development. Wood succeeds in showing us why dirt matters, and how it changed over time.âÃÂà- Deborah Montgomerie, NZ Books


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"This is an unexpected, confronting, but engaging style of history making." --"Metascience"

Introduction; 1 Health and Habitat: Relationships between nature, settlement, dirt and health; 2 Margins, Miasma and Mud: Reducing the plasticity, marginality and putrefaction of settlement; 3 Guarding Bodily Boundaries: The city-body, poisons and pollution; 4 Disembodied Dirt: Dealing with excrement, seepage and the city as wilful sloven; 5 Public Bodies, Public Dirt: Corporeality and municipality - public baths, public toilets and workers with waste; 6 Sanitarian Surveillance: Inspecting Nuisances: Physical and moral pollution, and the interpretation of sanitary regulations; 7 Sanitarian Surveillance: The Revealing Gaze: Professional men, practical men and sanitary reports; 8 Revealing the Slum: Intersections of dirt, dwelling and depravity; 9: Bodies in Disorder and Decay; The hospital, the sick and the dead as sites of dirt; Conclusion; Bibliography

General Fields

  • : 9781869403485
  • : Auckland University Press
  • : Auckland University Press
  • : October 2005
  • : 210mm X 148mm X 16mm
  • : New Zealand
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Pamela Wood
  • : Paperback
  • : 363.720993
  • : 300
  • : ill.