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Orwell's Cough: Diagnosing the Medical Maladies and Last Gasps of the Great Writers

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9781851689514: Orwell's Cough: Diagnosing the Medical Maladies and Last Gasps of the Great Writers
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“The doctor suddenly appeared beside Will, startling him. Though he smiled reassuringly, the poet noticed that he kept a safe distance. In a soothing, urbane voice, he explained the treatment: stewed prunes to evacuate the bowels; succulent meats to ease digestion; cinnabar and the sweating tub... Desperate diseases called for desperate remedies.”

Did Will Shakespeare's doctors addle his brain with cinnabar and mercury? Was Jane Eyre inspired by the plagued school that claimed the Brontė clan? Did writing 1984 kill George Orwell? Dr John Ross of Harvard Medical School opens his surgery to consult with the likes of Milton, Swift, Melville, Joyce, and Jack London, exploring the history of medicine as never before, from the Bard's cloaked visits to Southwark to cure his unsavoury rashes to the arsenic-and-horse-serum jabs given for Yeats's fevers. With novelistic flair and deep expertise, Ross reveals a wholly absorbing new view on the writer s life.

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Review:

[Ross] has happily violated every rule of patient confidentiality in this gossipy, highly conjectural and entertaining piece of medical bookchat... Superb.” Sebastian Faulks, Spectator

A gripping medical detective book... Entertaining.” The Telegraph

As [Ross] constructs these medical portraits, he delves into family history, romantic melodrama and quirkier aspects of the writers’ lives. The result is a fascinating, surprising and at times hilarious compilation.” New Scientist

[Ross] certainly knows his science; what’s wonderful about this book is that he knows his novels too... Orwell’s Cough manages the perfect balance: enough medicalese to interest the biologically-minded, and enough details about writers’ lives for the literary-minded. As soon as I finished the book, I turned right back to the start and read it again.” We Love This Book

Engrossing... a book that compels respect for the subjugation of suffering behind so many enduring works of genius.” Nature

I picked up Orwell’s Cough with great enthusiasm... Enjoyable.” Lewis Wolpert, BBC Focus

Orwell’s Cough is riveting medical detective work. John Ross offers a truly unique perspective on the literary giants, and he will make you profoundly thankful for modern medicine!” Alex Boese, author of Elephants on Acid and Electrified Sheep

Infectious and original. You’ll have trouble shaking it off.” Mark Crick, author of Kafka’s Soup

We always long to know writers better: more than just their words, we want to immerse ourselves intheir lives, to really feel what they felt. Ross does that, plunging you in the day-to-day pains and struggles of some of the most celebrated names in the canon.” Sam Kean, author of The Disappearing Spoon

Book Description:

Literary muses meet medical complaints in this marvellous look at the Bard, the Brontės, Milton, Swift, Joyce, and more

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9781780742250: Orwell's Cough: Diagnosing the Medical Maladies and Last Gasps of the Great Writers

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ISBN 10: 1780742258 ISBN 13: 9781780742250
Publisher: Oneworld Publications, 2013
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Published by Oneworld Publications (2012)
ISBN 10: 1851689516 ISBN 13: 9781851689514
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