Mars and Hygeia: The Application of Victorian Army Data on Height to the Quality of Health in the British Population

  • Thomas E. Jordan
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Well-Being and Quality of Life Research book series (BRIEFSWELLBEING)


The health of a nation in any epoch is an object of study since it provides perspective on the era’s quality of life and social progress. Study of the matter is not easy since information before the present age tends to consist of little beyond recording plagues and natural disasters. Only since the seventeenth century has information existed in quantities sufficient to offer a basis for research; with publication of his analysis of the London Bills of Mortality in 1662 John Oraunt provided the first empirically-based commentary on the state of public health. Inrecent years historians have turned with increasing frequency to archives of height data on reasonably large samples of human beings. However, such data sets tend to be unrepresentative of populations in general but, when interpreted cautiously, can provide insights into the health of populations.


Nineteenth Century Rejection Rate Minimum Height British Army Young Soldier 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas E. Jordan
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MissouriSt. LouisUSA

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