The Empress and the English Doctor: How Catherine the Great Defied a Deadly Virus

The Empress and the English Doctor: How Catherine the Great Defied a Deadly Virus

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The astonishing true story of how Catherine the Great joined forces with a Quaker doctor from Essex to spearhead one of the first global public health campaigns.

A TIMES BEST BOOK OF 2022 SO FAR

'Sparkling history...with a fairytale atmosphere of sleigh rides, royal palaces and heroic risk-taking' The Times

'It is hard to imagine a more timely or important book... a must-read' Jojo Moyes

A killer virus...an all-powerful Empress...an encounter cloaked in secrecy...the astonishing true story.

Within living memory, smallpox was a dreaded disease. Over human history it has killed untold millions. Back in the eighteenth century, as epidemics swept Europe, the first rumours emerged of an effective treatment: a mysterious method called inoculation.

But a key problem remained: convincing people to accept the preventative remedy, the forerunner of vaccination. Arguments raged over risks and benefits, and public resistance ran high. As smallpox ravaged her empire and threatened her court, Catherine the Great took the momentous decision to summon the Quaker physician Thomas Dimsdale to St Petersburg to carry out a secret mission that would transform both their lives. Lucy Ward expertly unveils the extraordinary story of Enlightenment ideals, female leadership and the fight to promote science over superstition.

'A rich and wonderfully urgent work of history' Tristram Hunt

Author: Lucy Ward
Publisher: ONEWorld Publications
Published: 06/07/2022
Pages: 352
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.25lbs
Size: 9.30h x 6.10w x 1.40d
ISBN: 9780861542451

Review Citation(s):
Booklist 04/15/2022 pg. 9
Publishers Weekly 04/25/2022