An accessible, curious, playful book aimed at enlivening science and history in a way that is irresistible to young readers in the 8 –12 years range.
by Dr. Lindsey Fitzharris & Adrian Teal
Bloomsbury, Fall 2023
(via Sterling Lord Literistic)
Guided by its eccentric, eponymous narrator, readers of SCOURGE will learn the stories of history’s most virulent sicknesses—such as bubonic plague, rabies, scurvy, polio, tuberculosis, and smallpox—and how medicine tried to combat them through the ages. The book will look at successful measures, such as the closure of ports to halt the spread of the Black Death; to weird and hopeless remedies, such as urine mouthwashes to cure scurvy.
At the start of each chapter, an illustration of Dr. Lurgy with his jars—filled with body parts covered in buboes, poxed heads, and loose teeth from scurvy victims—will begin the focus on one particular disease. As he holds forth, we mix through to illustrations of terrible scenes, bizarre medical escapades, and funny episodes that color his tales. Chapters will conclude with a roll-call of famous victims claimed by each disease. The book will be illustrated in a style reminiscent of popular comics and publications such as Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Tales from the Crypt, and Horrible Histories. It will feature a cast of characters including bird-masked plague doctors, rabid dogs, panicked citizens, an unwittingly heroic cow, and pioneering medical visionaries.
Dr. Lindsey Fitzharris is a bestselling and award-winning author, television host, and medical historian with a doctorate from the University of Oxford. Her debut book The Butchering Art won the 2018 PEN/E.O. Wilson Award for Literary Science in the United States; and was shortlisted for both the Wellcome Book Prize and the Wolfson History Prize in the UK. Lindsey is also the creator of the popular blog, The Chirurgeon’s Apprentice—which has had over 5 million hits since its launch—as well as the host of the YouTube series, Under the Knife.
Adrian Teal is an internationally renowned caricaturist, cartoonist, illustrator and writer. In relation to his caricature work, Adrian has appeared on several British TV channels such as BBC1, Channel 5, and Sky One.
Lindsey and Adrian live together in the British countryside.