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The Enlightened Mr Parkinson

The Englightened Mr Parkinson

The Enlightened Mr Parkinson by Dr Cherry Lewis

29 June 2017

In 1817 – exactly 200 years ago – James Parkinson (1755–1824) defined the disease so precisely that we still diagnose it today by recognising the symptoms he identified. The story of this remarkable man’s contributions to the Age of the Enlightenment is told through his three passions – medicine, politics and fossils.

The Enlightened Mr Parkinson by Dr Cherry Lewis tells the story of Parkinson's life as an apothecary surgeon (similar to today’s GP) in Hoxton, then a village on the outskirts of London. It was a time when epidemics festered in the dirty and overcrowded tenements, infant mortality was fifty percent, and no anaesthetics were available for those unfortunate enough to require surgery. Smallpox killed ten per cent of the population, so when Edward Jenner discovered a vaccine, Parkinson worked with him to establish vaccination stations across London. 

Dr Cherry Lewis is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Bristol. A geologist by training, she worked in the oil industry as well as in the press office of the University of Bristol before turning her interests to the history of geology. 

Further information

This book is available to purchase now at Waterstones