The Enlightened Mr. Parkinson: The Pioneering Life of a Forgotten Surgeon

The Enlightened Mr. Parkinson: The Pioneering Life of a Forgotten Surgeon

by Cherry Lewis

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A colorful and absorbing portrait of James Parkinson and the turbulent, intellectually vibrant world of Georgian London.

Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common forms of dementia, with 60,000 new cases each year in the United States alone, yet few know anything about the man the disease is named after. In 1817—two hundred years years ago—James Parkinson (1755–1824) defined this mysterious ailment so precisely that we still diagnose Parkinson's Disease today by recognizing the symptoms he identified.

The story of this remarkable man’s contributions to the Age of the Enlightenment is told through his three seemingly disparate passions: medicine, politics and fossils. As a political radical, Parkinson was interrogated over a plot to kill King George III and was in danger of exile. But simultaneously, he was helping Edward Jenner set up smallpox vaccination stations across London and writing the first scientific study of fossils in English, jump-starting a national craze. He is one of the intellectual pioneers of "the age of wonder," forgotten to history, but Cherry Lewis restores this amazing man to his rightful place in history with her evocative portrait of the man and his era.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681774954
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 08/08/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
File size: 23 MB
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About the Author

Cherry Lewis is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Bristol. She is the author of The Dating Game: One Man’s Search for the Age of the Earth (Cambridge University Press).

Table of Contents

Parkinson family tree vi

Prologue: A hole in the head ix

1 Living and bleeding in London 1

2 The hanged man 23

3 Fear of the knife 31

4 The radical Mr. Parkinson 45

5 The Pop Gun Plot 67

6 Trials and other tribulations 81

7 Dangerous sports 103

8 A pox in all your houses 117

9 The fossil question 133

10 A sublime and difficult science 147

11 'Tis a mad, mad world in Hoxton 165

12 The name of the father, and of the son 187

13 The shaking palsy 203

14 Reforms and rewards 221

Epilogue: A fragment of DNA 243

A few words of thanks 257

Notes and references 261

Bibliography 281

Picture credits 299

Index 301

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