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Angel of Death : The Story of Smallpox - G. Williams

Angel of Death

The Story of Smallpox

Hardcover Published: 17th May 2010
ISBN: 9780230274716
Number Of Pages: 425

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"Angel of Death" is a lively and powerful account of our battle against smallpox, the only disease that mankind has successfully eradicated from the planet. By weaving previously unrecorded voices in with the personal experiences of colourful historical figures such as Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Edward Jenner, Gareth Williams brings alive one of the most exciting success stories in the history of medicine. His book also gives original and engaging insights into the anti-vaccination campaigns which remain active today, and into the many unlearned lessons of smallpox. "Angel of Death" will appeal to all those moved by the excitement of discovery and stories of people fighting against adversity, and to anyone interested in history or medicine.

Shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize 2010

'Williams recounts the history of smallpox in a breezy, accessible style.' - Clive Anderson, New Scientist

'This extraordinary book brings alive the sheer horrors of smallpox and how mankind has managed to wipe it out using vaccination, pioneered by a Gloucestershire country doctor in 1796. This history has a very modern message, and this book needs to be read by everyone interested in public health today.'

- Mark Horton, presenter of BBC TV's Coast and Professor of Archaeology, University of Bristol

'The Angel of Death is a fascinating account of the most terrible disease to afflict mankind. Smallpox showed no mercy: the young, old, poor and royalty all equally at risk; whole societies almost wiped out in its inexorable wake. 2010 marks the 30th anniversary of its final eradication; Gareth Williams charts this compelling story with a plot that weaves seamlessly between cultures and centuries. Written in a wonderfully flowing and engaging style, this is a must read for all lovers of history. Highly relevant for today as the fight lives on to banish other deadly diseases from the world.'

- Sarah Parker, Director, Edward Jenner Museum, Gloucestershire, UK

'Filled with fascinating historical detail, this story resonates with contemporary concerns about epidemics and the fight against them. Gareth Williams effortlessly weaves together medical science writing and social history to tell the compelling tale of a battle against a deadly disease.'

- Alice Roberts, Research Fellow in Archaeology& Anthropology, University of Bristol, UK

'In lively prose with unpatronising insight into past medical dilemmas, he dramatises the scourge and its treatment first by variolation (immunisation with live smallpox virus) then vaccination, but also shows how controversial smallpox vaccination was during the 19th century.' - The Lancet

'...the author explores one of the most exciting success stories in the history of medicine. His book also gives original and engaging insights into the anti-vaccination campaigns which remain active today.' - The Guild of Health Writers

'...an engaging narrative, in which medical history is interweaved with social history and reflections on contemporary issues.' - BBC History Magazine

'Williams's account of our battle with the disease revisits historical accounts of its horrendous impact and the fascinating story of medical progress - including the pioneering use of vaccination by a country doctor in 1796 - and its relevance in the fight against modern epidemics.' - The Times

Wonderful. Wonderfully-researched, vividly-written, an example of medical history at its absolute best.' - Michael Neve

'Williams has managed to bring to life one of the most enthralling, life changing success stories in the history of medicine' - Laboratory News

'A breezy, accessible account by a professor of medicine.' - The Week

'...[a] well-documented book.' - CHOICE

List of Illustrationsp. viii
Acknowledgementsp. xii
Setting the Scenep. xv
Know the Enemyp. 1
Of Man and Angelp. 28
First Steps in the Right Directionp. 52
The Ambassador's Ingenious Ladyp. 71
Curiosa Americanap. 96
From Passion to Fashionp. 127
The Greatest Improvement?p. 149
Everyday Tales of Country Folkp. 161
The Disinterested Divulger of a Salutary Blessingp. 175
Crusaders and Infidelsp. 209
An Affront to the Rights of Manp. 235
More Fatal than Smallpoxp. 256
The Most Beautiful Discovery or a Disastrous Illusion?p. 283
Lest We Forgetp. 306
Death Throes of a Clinical Curiosityp. 328
Legacy of an Angelp. 355
Appendix Case History: Erysipelas following vaccinationp. 373
Notesp. 375
Bibliographyp. 402
Indexp. 414
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780230274716
ISBN-10: 0230274714
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 425
Published: 17th May 2010
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 20.3 x 12.7  x 3.56
Weight (kg): 0.66
Edition Number: 1