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BBC Radio 4 - 92 to 94 FM and 198 Long WaveListen to Digital Radio, Digital TV and OnlineListen on Digital Radio, Digital TV and Online

History
THE LONG VIEW
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THE LATEST PROGRAMME
Tuesday, 19 March 2002, 9:00-9:30 and repeated 21:30 - 22:00
Jonathan Freedland looks for the past behind the present. Each week, The Long View, recorded on location throughout the British Isles, takes an issue from the current affairs agenda and finds a parallel in our past.
Have you got a good subject for a future programme? Click here to make your suggestion.

Controversy over the MMR vaccine is mirrored by unease about the proposed smallpox vaccine in the 18 th century.The image is of an actor playing a smallpox victim in the BBC drama documentary Smallpox 2002.
The year is 1721 and smallpox hits the streets of London. The horror spreads as fast as the disease itself, as more great gaps appear in family trees and whole households lose all their possessions in an attempt to get rid of the infection.

But one woman - Lady Mary Wortley Montague - has a possible solution. She was back in London after accompanying her ambassador husband to Turkey, where she'd witnessed what seemed a bizarre practice: an old lady inoculating the village children with smallpox matter using a walnut shell. She'd tried the method on her son, successfully; and now she was ready to take on the English physicians, clerics, and public, many of whom were determined to oppose her.

On Location
Left-hand picture:Jonathan Freedland with guests during recording
Right-hand picture: Helen Bedford and Fiona Shaw.

Left-hand picture: Jonathan Freedland, Helen Bedford and Fiona Shaw
Right-hand picture:Germaine Greer and Kit Davis
Was she right to try such a method on her own children? As the majority of doctors trust in the safety record of MMR, are parents right in our own day to turn to single jabs? Has their anxiety about autism led them to lose sight of the horrors that measles and rubella can inflict? And what about the role of the media, who in the eighteenth century entered into the debate with all the passion and side-taking of today's commentators? The whole issue of public health is under the spotlight in this week's "The Long View".

Join Jonathan Freedland and his guests Professor Germaine Greer, Dr Helen Bedford of the Institute of Child Health, the anthropologist Kit Davis, and the actor Fiona Shaw, to take The Long View of inoculation.

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In Our Time
Thursday 9.00-9.45am, rpt 9.30-10.00pm. Melvyn Bragg explores the history of ideas. Listen again online or download the latest programme as an mp3 file.
THE LONG VIEW
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JONATAHN FREEDLAND
Jonathan Freedland is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster. A weekly columnist for the Guardian and the London Evening Standard, he is the author of Bring Home the Revolution, an acclaimed analysis of modern America, and more recently a family memoir, Jacob's Gift. Next year he will publish a thriller: The Righteous Men. Read more about Jonathan Freedland

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