The Medical Detective

John Snow, Cholera And The Mystery Of The Broad Street Pump

Sandra Hempel

Published: 6 August 2007
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 304 pages
ISBN: 9781862079373
£9.99

Overview

In 1831, an unknown, horrifying and deadly disease from Asia swept across Continental Europe, killing millions in its path and throwing the medical profession into confusion. Cholera is a killer with little respect for class or wealth. When it arrived in Britain, its repercussions rocked Victorian England - from the filthy lanes of the Sunderland quayside and the squalid streets of Soho, to the great centres of power: the Privy Council, Whitehall and the Royal Medical Colleges. One man - alone and unrecognized - uncovered the truth behind the pandemic and laid the foundations for the modern scientific investigation of today's fatal plagues. John Snow was a reclusive doctor, without money or social position, who had the genius to look beyond the conventional wisdom of his day and work out that cholera was spread through drinking water. The book draws extensively on nineteenth-century medical, political and personal records in order to describe what is both an important breakthrough for medical science and also a dramatic story with a cast of colourful characters, from the heroic to the frighteningly incompetent. The book is also full of fascinating diversions into aspects of medical and social history, from Snow's tending of Queen Victoria in childbirth, to the Dutch microbiologist Leeuwenhoek's breeding of lice in his socks, and from Dickensian children's farms to riotous nineteenth-century anaesthesia parties.


About the author

Image of Sandra Hempel

Sandra Hempel is a journalist and author who specializes in health and social issues. She has worked for many leading newspapers and magazines, including The Times, the Sunday Times, the Guardian and the Mail on Sunday, as well as for the Department of Health and the NHS. She is the author of The Medical Detective. She lives in London with her two daughters. More about the author





 
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