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Wendy Moore began her first newspaper job at the age of nineteen. Initially working as a crime reporter, tracking stories such as the Dennis Nielsen murders, she was switched to reporting health issues.
Having always been interested in history, Wendy began researching the history of medicine several years ago. In 1999 she completed the Diploma in the History of Medicine of the Society of Apothecaries (DHMSA) and won the Maccabean prize for the best dissertation that year. Soon afterwards she decided to write a biography of John Hunter, the 18th-century surgeon who launched a revolution in medicine. The book, The Knife Man: The Extraordinary Life and Times of John Hunter, Father of Modern Surgery, won the Medical Journalists' Association Consumer Book Award in 2005 and was short-listed for the biennial Marsh Biography Award.
She has appeared on television: Medical Mavericks and Ian Rankin investigates: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
Wendy lives in London with her husband Peter and her two children, Sam and Susannah.
Featured on The TV Book Club on More4 on 21 March 2010. We have in Andrew Robinson Stoney the deepest dyed of villains, we have a heroine in Mary Eleanor Bowes and we have Georgian society and law showing little mercy for women fighting for release from men such as Stoney. And if this incredible story resembles fiction we discover that Thackeray based his novel, Barry Lyndon on this whole sorry case. Like for Like ReadingLady Worsley’s Whim: An Eighteenth Century Tales of Sex, Scandal and Divorce, Hallie RubenholdThe Gentleman’s Daughter: Women’s Lives in Georgian England, A Vickery
The colourful and often gruesome life of the 18th-century pioneering surgeon and anatomist John Hunter generally regarded as the father of modern medicine
A BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK When the First World War broke out, the suffragettes suspended their campaigning and joined the war effort. For pioneering suffragette doctors (and life partners) Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson that meant moving to France, where they set up two small military hospitals amidst fierce opposition. Yet their medical and organisational skills were so impressive that in 1915 Flora and Louisa were asked by the War Ministry to return to London and establish a new military hospital in a vast and derelict old workhouse in Covent Garden's Endell Street. That they did, creating a 573-bed hospital staffed from top to bottom by female surgeons, doctors and nurses, and developing entirely new techniques to deal with the horrific mortar and gas injuries suffered by British soldiers. Receiving 26,000 wounded men over the next four years, Flora and Louisa created such a caring atmosphere that soldiers begged to be sent to Endell Street. And then, following the end of the war and the Spanish Flu outbreak, the hospital was closed and Flora, Louisa and their staff were once again sidelined in the medical profession. The story of Endell Street provides both a keyhole view into the horrors and thrills of wartime London and a long-overdue tribute to the brilliance and bravery of an extraordinary group of women.
Medicine, in the early 1800s, was a brutal business. Operations were performed without anaesthesia while conventional treatment relied on leeches, cupping and toxic potions. The most surgeons could offer by way of pain relief was a large swig of brandy. Onto this scene came John Elliotson, the dazzling new hope of the medical world. Charismatic and ambitious, Elliotson was determined to transform medicine from a hodge-podge of archaic remedies into a practice informed by the latest science. In this aim he was backed by Thomas Wakley, founder of the new magazine, theLancet, and a campaigner against corruption and malpractice. Then, in the summer of 1837, a French visitor - the self-styled Baron Jules Denis Dupotet - arrived in London to promote an exotic new idea: mesmerism. The mesmerism mania would take the nation by storm but would ultimately split the two friends, and the medical world, asunder - throwing into focus fundamental questions about the fine line between medicine and quackery, between science and superstition.
When Robert Louis Stevenson wrote his gothic horror story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, he based the house of the genial doctor-turned-fiend on the home of John Hunter. The choice was understandable, for Hunter was both widely acclaimed and greatly feared.From humble origins, John Hunter rose to become the most famous anatomist and surgeon of the eighteenth century. In an age when operations were crude, extremely painful, and often fatal, he rejected medieval traditions to forge a revolution in surgery founded on pioneering scientific experiments. Using the knowledge he gained from countless human dissections, Hunter worked to improve medical care for both the poorest and the best-known figures of the eraincluding Sir Joshua Reynolds and the young Lord Byron.An insatiable student of all life-forms, Hunter was also an expert naturalist. He kept exotic creatures in his country menagerie and dissected the first animals brought back by Captain Cook from Australia. Ultimately his research led him to expound highly controversial views on the age of the earth, as well as equally heretical beliefs on the origins of life more than sixty years before Darwin published his famous theory.Although a central figure of the Enlightenment, Hunters tireless quest for human corpses immersed him deep in the sinister world of body snatching. He paid exorbitant sums for stolen cadavers and even plotted successfully to steal the body of Charles Byrne, famous in his day as the Irish giant.In The Knife Man, Wendy Moore unveils John Hunters murky and macabre worlda world characterized by public hangings, secret expeditions to dank churchyards, and gruesome human dissections in pungent attic rooms. This is a fascinating portrait of a remarkable pioneer and his determined struggle to haul surgery out of the realms of meaningless superstitious ritual and into the dawn of modern medicine.
From the No.1 bestselling author of WEDLOCK. The Georgian scandal of one gentleman, two orphans and an experiment to create the ideal wife. This is the story of how Thomas Day, a young man of means, decided he could never marry a woman with brains, spirit or fortune. Instead, he adopted two orphan girls from a Foundling Hospital, and set about educating them to become the meek, docile women he considered marriage material. Unsurprisingly, Day's marriage plans did not run smoothly. Having returned one orphan early on, his girl of choice, Sabrina Sidney, would also fall foul of the experiment. From then on, she led a difficult life, inhabiting a curious half-world - an ex-orphan, and not quite a ward; a governess, and not quite a fiancee. But Sabrina also ended up figuring in the life of scientists and luminaries as disparate as Erasmus Darwin and Joseph Priestley, as well as that pioneering generation of women writers who included Fanny Burney, Maria Edgeworth and Anna Seward. In HOW TO CREATE THE PERFECT WIFE, Wendy Moore has found a story that echoes her concerns about women's historic powerlessness, and captures a moment when ideas of human development and childraising underwent radical change.
Thomas Day, an 18th-century British writer and radical, knew exactly the sort of woman he wanted to marry. Pure and virginal like an English country maid yet tough and hardy like a Spartan heroine, she would live with him in an isolated cottage, completely subservient to his whims. But after being rejected by a number of spirited young women, Day concluded that the perfect partner he envisioned simply did not exist in frivolous, fashion-obsessed Georgian society. Rather than conceding defeat and giving up his search for the woman of his dreams, however, Day set out to create her.So begins the extraordinary true story at the heart of How to Create the Perfect Wife, prize-winning historian Wendy Moore's captivating tale of one man's mission to groom his ideal mate. A few days after he turned twenty-one and inherited a large fortune, Day adopted two young orphans from the Foundling Hospital and, guided by the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the principles of the Enlightenment, attempted to teach them to be model wives. After six months he discarded one girl, calling her ';invincibly stupid,' and focused his efforts on his remaining charge. He subjected her to a number of cruel trialsincluding dropping hot wax on her arms and firing pistols at her skirtsto test her resolve but the young woman, perhaps unsurprisingly, eventually rebelled against her domestic slavery. Day had hoped eventually to marry her, but his peculiar experiment inevitably backfiredthough not before he had taken his theories about marriage, education, and femininity to shocking extremes.Stranger than fiction, blending tragedy and farce, How to Create the Perfect Wife is an engrossing tale of the radicalismand deep contradictionsat the heart of the Enlightenment.
WINNER OF THE MEDICAL JOURNALISTS' OPEN BOOK AWARD 2005 Revered and feared in equal measure, John Hunter was the most famous surgeon of eighteenth-century London. Rich or poor, aristocrat or human freak, suffering Georgians knew that Hunter's skills might well save their lives but if he failed, their corpses could end up on his dissecting table, their bones and organs destined for display in his remarkable, macabre museum. Maverick medical pioneer, adored teacher, brilliant naturalist, Hunter was a key figure of the Enlightenment who transformed surgery, advanced biological understanding and even anticipated the evolutionary theories of Darwin. He provided inspiration both for Dr Jekyll and Dr Dolittle. But the extremes to which he went to pursue his scientific mission raised question marks then as now. John Hunter's extraordinary world comes to life in this remarkable, award-winning biography written by a wonderful new talent.