Filth and Fever

Dirt and disease were common in Victorian Britain. In the first half of the nineteenth century, poor sanitation and health care and inappropriate living conditions meant that the life expectancy of Britain's population was low and three in twenty babies died before their first birthday.

Campaigners around the country sought legislation that would save thousands of lives every year. This resource allows you to explore a range of sources from this campaign - from cartoons published in Punch magazine to statistical data gathered by the very first health inspectors. Detailed information about each source is available, as are biographies of the campaign's key figures and a timeline and glossary.

Background to the campaign

A wealth of information about the campaign for public health reform including biographies, a glossary and a timeline.


Historical sources

Examine historical sources from the campaign for sanitary reform - from cartoons and letters to statistical data and newspaper accounts.

The Campaign for Public Health

Campaign for Public Health (Summary)

Learn about that campaign that fought to improve the health conditions of the urban poor in Victorian Britain.