The Old Man's Guide to Health and Longer Life

John Hill

John Hill

Distributed for British Library

80 pages | 20 halftones | 4 1/2 x 6 3/4 | © 2013
Cloth $10.00 ISBN: 9780712358989 Published May 2013 For sale in North and South America only
Tho' vegetables may be thought innocent, there are many cases in which they prove hurtful.
 
Carrots are to be avoided, for no old stomach can digest them.
 
It isn’t fun getting old, but, as the joke has it, being old is better than the alternative. Most of us worry about getting older, and there is an endless supply of guides out there claiming to hold the tips that will ensure wellness and vitality during our golden years. But before Dr. Oz and protein shakes, aging men turned to physician John Hill and The Old Man’s Guide to Health and Longer Life.
           
First published in the mid-eighteenth century, The Old Man’s Guide to Health and Longer Life is a lifestyle guide to longevity and good health for old men. Written in an age when the majority of the population didn’t live to see their fortieth birthday, Hill’s book provides practical advice on diet, exercise, and lifestyle, including sleep and emotional health, as well as illuminating insight into the thinking on health and longevity in the mid-eighteenth century. Some of the more prescriptive advice has the hysterical tone expected from eighteenth-century guides and manuals—“The pine-apple, the most pleasant of all fruit, is the most dangerous.”—but more surprising is how full of genuinely good advice the book is and how much of it reads like modern-day health literature. This includes such insightful sayings as: “A warm bath and a glass of wine if you are having difficulty getting to sleep”; “Use medicines only as a last resort—address diet and lifestyle first to resolve illness”; and “Quiet, good humour, and complacency of temper will prevent half the diseases of old people; and cure many of the others.”
             
Full of both sage wisdom and what now seem ridiculous regimens, The Old Man’s Guide to Health and Longer Life will be the perfect gift for a man of more mature years.

Maggie Fazeli Fard | Washington Post
The Old Man’s Guide to Health and Longer Life shows that interest in healthy aging is not exactly new. First published in the mid-18th century, the book offers advice to a population its author, physician John Hill, described as ‘the ancient.’. . . Amid discussions of fluxes and humours, there are tidbits of still sage advice: controlling one’s temper, taking warm baths before bed, going for walks and staving off disease through diet and lifestyle rather than medicine.”
Press, York
“This amusing, informative little piece of history is highly entertaining and the helpful advice is still fit for today’s older members of society. The black and white period illustrations are simply wonderful.”
Contents
To the Reader

1. How the old man may know he is in health
2. Of preserving a healthful state in old age
3. Of the diet of old men
4. Of the foods old men should avoid
5. Of air for old persons
6. Of exercise for old men
7. Of substitutes for exercise
8. Of a regulation of the temper. And of the passions
9. Of sleep for old men
10. Of the particular faults in old men’s constitutions
11. Of a fullness of blood
12. Of wasting and decay
13. Against sharp humours
14. Of pains and inflammations
15. Of fluxes
16. Of the gravel and stone
17. Of weakness
18. Of the asthma
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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