Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Medical Classics


BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 01 September 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4570
  1. James F Stark, doctoral student in history of medicine, Department of Philosophy, University of Leeds
  1. phljfs{at}

    The use of biological agents in warfare and terrorism is often regarded as an idea that emerged in the 20th century. The anthrax mail attacks of September 2001, directed towards two Democratic senators and several news media offices in the United States, are well remembered by many. Others may recall the British experimentation with anthrax spores on Gruinard Island, off the west coast of Scotland, in 1942. Few, however, will be acquainted with the 1895 novel in which Thomas Mullett Ellis wrote what is one of the first accounts of the use of anthrax as …

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