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.
Mutiny on the Globe
The Fatal Voyage of Samuel Comstock
Sailing between Hawaii and Tahiti in 1824, the captain and officers of the Nantucket whaler Globe were hacked to pieces and dumped overboard by their crew, led by the ruthless, 21-year-old Samuel Comstock. The events that followed - told in full for the first time in this enthralling, meticulously researched account - form an epic to rival the mutiny on the Bounty as Comstock's megalomaniac ambition to set up his own tropical kingdom led him and his crewmates to disaster.
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.