Rabies was a constant threat in Victorian Britain. It gripped the public imagination because its human form - hydrophobia - produced the worst of all possible deaths with the mind and body out of control. This book takes us back to an age when potentially rabid dogs lurked everywhere: at home, in the yard and on the street, in the press, in novels, and in popular memory. The narrative explores the changing understandings of rabies amongst vets, doctors, animal welfare campaigners, state officials, politicians and the public, and the struggles over methods of control. Hydrophobia was always fatal until 1885 when Louis Pasteur introduced his vaccine treatment - the world's first medical breakthrough - which we show led to conflicts between scientists and anitvivisectionists. Finally, Mad Dogs and Englishmen considers how rabies was eradicated from Britain in 1902 following the controversial imposition of muzzling dogs, then kept out by first by quarantines and from 2000 by Pet Passports.

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