The BSHM aims to use the expertise of its membership to provide concise, timely and objective reviews of books relevant to its constituent Societies and the wider community interested in the history of medicine.

Candidate books for review should fall within the broad category of history of medicine, be printed in the English language, and generally have been published no longer than twelve months prior to submission for review. Books with particular merit can be considered for review up to five years after publication with the agreement of the BSHM Book Reviews Editor.

Publishers are invited to send a description of new or recently published books to the BSHM Book Reviews Editor at as an attached PDF document. If a book is selected, the Editor will contact the publisher to make the necessary arrangements for book delivery to the reviewer.

Book reviews will be commissioned and must be original and previously unpublished. It is intended that reviews will normally be completed and posted on the BSHM website within three months of receipt of the book by the reviewer. Unsolicited reviews will not be accepted.

Reviewers are requested to:
(i) make clear what the book sets out to cover and how it does this
(ii) indicate where the book sits in the field of the history of medicine
(iii) describe the book’s main idea, theme, argument or organising principle
(iv) analyse the book’s strengths and weaknesses with relevant examples
(v) judge if the book succeeds in reaching the stated aims of the author(s)
(vi) explain what kind of reader might benefit from the book and why.

Reviews should be approximately 400 words in length, organised in short paragraphs for ease of reading online, and submitted by e-mail to as an attached Word document. Longer reviews of up to 800 words will be accepted for longer, more complex or multi-volume publications with prior agreement of the BSHM Book Reviews Editor. Acceptance is subject to adherence to the guidelines and final editing.

September 2023