The Apocalypse of Napoleon Bonaparte: His Last Years,
from Waterloo to St Helena: A Medical Biography
Since Napoleon died a prisoner on St Helena in 1821, there has been much speculation about the cause of his demise. This ground-breaking study sidesteps rumour and speculation, focusing solely on the reports of the doctors who attended him. Its conclusion is startling. While the immediate cause of death was a gastric ulcer, Napoleon's underlying poor health was due to the hostility of the island's governor, Hudson Lowe, and a scandal involving the mistress of Admiral Plampin, commander of its naval station.
The Society Doctor Who Held Victorian London Spellbound
Physician John Elliotson and his friend Thomas Wakley, founding editor of The Lancet, were well-known medical pioneers in Victorian London. Yet when Elliotson championed the new ‘science’ of mesmerism, which purported to dull surgical pain, their friendship – and Elliotson’s credibility – were severely tested. Against a backdrop of Victorian lecture theatres and hospital wards, the two distinguished men publicly clashed over a technique which, for all its successes and failures, is still little understood.