The Speckled Monster

The Speckled Monster

A Historical Tale of Battling Smallpox

Book - 2003
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A timely book about history's first desperate efforts to conquer the spotted beast of smallpox. What is it like to be caught in the terror and chaos of a smallpox epidemic when you and those you love are unprotected? What is it like to get smallpox, or to watch your children battle the disease? The Speckled Monstertells the dramatic story-both historical and timely-of two parents who dared to fight back against the disease. After barely surviving the agony of smallpox themselves, they both flouted eighteenth-century European medical tradition by borrowing folk knowledge from African slaves and eastern women in frantic bids to protect their children. From their heroic struggles stem the modern science of immunology as well as the vaccinations that remain our only hope should the disease ever be unleashed again. Jennifer Lee Carrell transports readers back to the early eighteenth century to tell the tales of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Dr. Zabdiel Boylston: two iconoclastic figures who helped save the cities of London and Boston from the deadliest disease mankind has known.
Publisher: New York : Dutton, c2003
ISBN: 9780525947363
0525947361
Branch Call Number: 614.52109 Car
Characteristics: xvii, 474 p. : ill., map

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autnagrag
Oct 29, 2013

SPL does not tell you this, but I do.
This item in Kindle format can only be downloaded to a Kindle device via USB, but it cannot be accessed via a Kindle reading application.

Please, SPL, full disclosure before your patrons have to exert all this effort, only to come up with … nothing readable.

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kalio
Jul 26, 2009

Our parents and grandparents might still bear the scars of their smallpox vaccination, but today?s children are free from the threat of that deadly disease. The Speckled Monster is the story of how two individuals emerged from the epidemic-ravaged eighteenth century and began the fight that made smallpox a disease of the past. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu was a clever and wealthy London aristocrat who managed to survive the disease?a feat that was the exception rather than the rule. In Boston, hard-working Dr. Zabdiel Boylston was also a smallpox survivor. Separated by an ocean and a significant class divide, Lady Mary and Dr. Boylston began working, in their own ways, on introducing the African concept of inoculation. A patient was purposefully infected with a small bit of live smallpox material, and that patient would get a mild case of the disease and be forever immune to the deadlier forms of smallpox. We know it works today, but people of the eighteenth century thought the idea ridiculous and mad--which only made Lady Mary and Dr. Boylston try harder? Written almost like a novel, with dialogue and conversation taken from diaries and letters, The Speckled Monster presents the portraits of two everyday revolutionaries who flouted medical convention put their trust in the power of prevention. There?s a lot of science and fact, but by grounding the story in the real lives and words of these unique individuals, The Speckled Monster becomes both a relevant history and a dramatic story.

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