Talking to children about death is a difficult and delicate task, but it is sometimes also necessary. While many adults shy away from discussing the loss of a friend or relative with children, some health professionals argue that we should be more proactive. Here, Hannah Newton, a social historian and research associate at St John's College, Cambridge, explains why this is one area where the past may offer valuable lessons for our own time.
A new study into the grim and frequently heart-breaking history of childhood sickness and death has opened a window on to a surprisingly tender world of close families and devoted parenting in early modern England.
Dr Hannah Newton, an historian of science with an interest in how previous generations coped with childhood illness, digs up some 17th century tips for making medicine taste better and finds evidence for common sense and compassion among the doctors of the day.