Feeding babies is a topic of intense concern to mothers and of great interest to health professionals. ‘Breast is Best’ had been the consensus view throughout history but, for choice or necessity, alternatives to mother’s milk were used in the past: wet nursing, or so-called ‘dry nursing’ or ‘hand feeding’, often with unsafe and unsuitable breastmilk substitutes.
White Blood explores the ways in which the nature and properties of human milk have been conceived within the fluctuating frames of thought that characterised the historical periods of the past. From shifting scientific and social viewpoints, it charts the impact of changing practices of milk feeding on infant health, growth, welfare and survival. Starting in ancient Greece and Rome, it lets the voices of those concerned with the care of newborn infants speak across the centuries of how babies should best be nourished.
A website can be many things — a showcase, news-outlet, bookshop and more. This website is a kind of autobiography. But it is less of a curriculum vitae and more of a library and gallery illustrating my activities and interests. I put it together for my own amusement and convenience during lockdown, at a time in life when I wanted to gather together the different things I have written, done and made.
The impulse for its creation was to draw attention to what I have published. I never saw myself as a ‘writer’ or ‘author’ but my professional life as a doctor involved a lot of writing – medical, scientific, technical and historical. As well as a few books, I have written many chapters for textbooks and multi-author volumes, and published dozens of articles in medical, scientific and academic journals.
Having constructed this website I am also taking the opportunity of displaying images of lettering I have cut in stone and wood, an absorbing counterbalance to words on paper or the screen. There is also some poetry, and some journeys . . . Make what you wish of what you find here. This website is work in progress – provisional, piecemeal – and just like reading a book or visiting an exhibition, you can dip in or wander about wherever you want.