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Orwell's Cough: Diagnosing the Medical Maladies and Last Gasps of the Great Writers (Anglais) Relié – 4 octobre 2012

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Revue de presse

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

“We always long to know writers better: more than just their words, we want to immerse ourselves in their 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

“Infectious and original. You'll have trouble shaking it off. ”

--Mark Crick, author of Kafka's Soup

Présentation de l'éditeur

“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 Brontë 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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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Quatrième de couverture
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Amazon.com: 1 commentaire
Medical diagnosis, forensic pathology and literature; a good read 1 décembre 2013
Par "Belgo Geordie" - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
This is a fascinating book that works both as forensic medicine and literature. The first chapter on one William Shakespeare was overall the least engaging. There was more than a dram of speculation, which given the time period and historic record is perhaps excusable. I almost put the book down at that point (a large draft of belladonna with newt urine by pipette). But, persisted and was rewarded. Mr Ross has sound knowledge of the writers, their personal history and works. He also describes the development of medicine and the love of doctors to kill or seriously maim their patients with the orthodoxy of the day. For those who believe science is the only model of value in the cake shop today, it is a lesson on there is no single truth/silver bullet. Science remains experimentation, trial and elimination and sometimes that includes the poor, suffering patient. The doctor cannot and does not know everything and not everything they know is necessarily sound. A reflection for today, will a John Ross of the future be describing chemotherapy or other cancer treatments that may have polished of writers such as Christopher Hitchens. All very state of the art but more primitive than we may understand or give weight to. Reading books such as this inform us it is unlikely we recognise diseases that in later times may become obvious but which we today are blissfully unaware of as we continue to shorten our lives with a range of vices, treatments, lifestyles, habits and environmental ticking bombs. Mine is supporting Newcastle United, which I am told has shortened my life considerably. All I can say is thank goodness I did not support Manchester United or I would have had no life at all! I learned a lot from this book about the various writers and in particular the Bronte’s tribe, Jonathan Swift, Herman Melville and WB Yeats. It made me rethink my approach to their work through the prism of possible medical conditions. Mr Ross is to be commended for some fine investigative/detective work through some very dusty tomes.
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