The inoculation debate in 18th-century France

Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images


Casanova’s autobiography frequently refers to smallpox and its effects, such as in the case of ‘fair Anglade’: [she] accepted a very advantageous proposal which was made her by Count Brawn. This charming Frenchwoman died of the small-pox a few months later, and there can be no doubt that her death was a blessing, as she would have fallen into misery and poverty after her beauty had once decayed.

In a fascinating article, Elise Lipkowitz describes the smallpox inoculation debate in eighteenth-century France, a debate that acquires extra poignancy in the light of the present day anti-vaxx controversies which have escalated since the Andrew Wakefield scandal – here.


‘Casanova in Paris: The Shadows of the King’ is freely available here.

Long form articles on Casanova’s life and times are freely available here.


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