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The Medical Detective

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

Sandra Hempel

$25.95

Paperback

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Granta
01 August 2007
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 unrecognised - 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 19th 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 Victorian childbirth, to the Dutch microbiologist Leeuwenhoek s deliberately breeding of lice in his socks; from Dickensian children s farms to riotous 19th century anaesthesia parties.
By:   Sandra Hempel
Imprint:   Granta
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 130mm,  Spine: 20mm
Weight:   221g
ISBN:   9781862079373
ISBN 10:   1862079374
Pages:   304
Publication Date:   01 August 2007
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Sandra Hempel is a journalist and copy writer who has written for The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian and The Mail on Sunday, as well as for the Department of Health and the NHS. She lives in London with her two daughters.

Reviews for The Medical Detective: John Snow, Cholera And The Mystery Of The Broad Street Pump

* 'Ripping yarns from the dawn of proper medicine' Ben Goldacre, Guardian


  • Winner of Medical Journalists Association: Tony Thistlethwaite Award 2006
  • Winner of Medical Journalists Association: Tony Thistlethwaite Award 2006.
  • Winner of Medical Journalists Association: Tony Thistlethwaite Award.

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