The Great Stink of Paris and the Nineteenth-Century Struggle Against Filth
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In the summer of 1880 a disgusting stench afflicted the city of Paris, provoking a popular outcry and a minor political crisis. There was a widespread belief – among experts and ordinary folk – that the foul odour would cause disease; yet in 1895, when another great stink arose, Parisians were offended, but not unduly worried about disease. This study explores that shift opinion and tells the story of how public health knowledge and practice changed over those 15 years.