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Is this book great or ghastly? Read my review and get the inside dope

The REP Book

Elliman, Sons & Co., Slough, England
Edition / Year
2ns Edition. 1903
In the section labelled
REP stands for “Rubbing Eases Pain”, the slogan of Elliman's Embrocation, a product happily still available. The book is intended as a guide to First Aid for the home, and indeed some of the medical advice is fascinating, but even better are the numerous characteristically Edwardian illustrations. Lotion drips from a bottle through a flannel wick onto a wounded leg.

What may astonish the modern reader is the range and seriousness of the illnesses and ailments for which advice is provided, acting as a reminder of how much harder and more dangerous life could be just under a century ago. Amongst the topics covered are Diphtheria, Small Pox, Typhoid, Malaria, Scurvy, Poisoning by Snake Bite, Bite by Rabid Dogs, Gunshot Wounds, Beri Beri, Haemorrhage from Lungs, Yellow Fever, Scarlet Fever, Dengue, Epilepsy and St. Vitus Dance. (Of course, these were the days of Empire, and we poor Brits were frequently exposed to the perils of tropical climes, not to mention the occasional stroppy native, unappreciative of the White Man's Burden.)

Of course the majority of ailments, trivial or otherwise, may be alleviated by a timely application of Elliman's. Fortunately this universally beneficial product can still be obtained, though modern medicine seems to have forgotten its usefulness. Never once, though I have presented many interesting symptoms to my doctor, has he prescribed me Elliman's. I despair - the man's a fool, clearly.


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