This excellent book will be of central interest to many historians of medicine, mostly to those dealing with public health and medicine in the first half of the 19th century." Medical History. This work is the established deep analysis of the ideas, institutions and men who coalesced into what became the characteristically Victorian statistical movement to probe, measure, quantify and reform society. This was intended "to prevent misfortune and vice, sickness and improvidence." The early Victorians, in an age of serious social tension and the threat of tumultuous unrest, found it imperative to know the reasons behind multiplying challenges to their society. Faced with 'the condition of England' question they sought its causes. At the root of that search was the cluster of values known as the ideology of 'improvement'. This work forges a valuable intellectual link in the chain that unites the earliest forms of social enquiry with Henry Mayhew, Charles booth, Seebohm Rowntree and the modern statistical sciences of society.